Impact of visiting an onsite casino information centre on perceptions about randomness and gambling behaviours

Abstract

At the beginning of 2000, some educational initiatives in the field of responsible gambling resulted in the implementation of Onsite Casino Information Centres {(OCICs).} However, no study has yet empirically evaluated the impact of visiting an {OCIC.} This paper includes two studies evaluating the {OCIC} Au Centre du Hasard, located in Montreal, Quebec. The goal of the first study was to identify the profile of the visitors and to assess their appreciation. After a visit, 336 patrons accepted to complete a pen and paper questionnaire. The goal of the second study was to evaluate the impact of a visit on the perceptions about randomness and the gambling behaviours of the visitors. For this study, 67 visitors were evaluated before, after, and 3 months following a visit and their results were compared to a control group. Data showed that most visitors were seniors, occasional slot machine gamblers, and in control of their gambling activities. The majority of guests greatly appreciated their visit. A visit to Au Centre du Hasard seemed to modify the misconceptions towards the notion of randomness but not the gambling behaviours. These gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Results with respect to other prevention programs are discussed, and future research avenues are suggested.

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