The impact of jackpots on EGM gambling behavior: A review

Abstract

This paper reviews literature on how jackpots influence Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) gambling behaviour. Most of the available evidence addresses the motivational effect of the mere presence of EGM jackpots on play, as actual wins are relatively rare for individual gamblers. The review identifies a distinction between rational, biased and irrational motivations that attract people to EGM jackpots. The evidence suggests that EGM jackpots should generate additional consumption on EGMs above machines that do not have such lottery-like features. Rational motivations are likely to lead to consumer surplus, whereas biased and irrational motivations are likely to contribute to excessive consumption. Moreover, there is evidence that excessive gambling consumption is strongly associated with gambling-related harm. Future research should identify how the structural features of different types of jackpots; such as progressive, deterministic, hidden, mystery, linked and wide-area jackpots; may differentially appeal to rational, biased and irrational gambling motivations. Jackpots are common feature of EGM games, and therefore it is important to have a better understanding of how jackpot features influence play on the machines.

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