The use of arcade gambling machines: Demographic characteristics of users and patterns of use


Despite public concern that young people may become addicted to gambling machines, little empirical data exists on the use of such machines. In the present study, machine users were selected from seven arcades in the Liverpool area and interviewed about their machine using behaviour. Users were of all age groups and came from all occupational classes, although a sizeable minority were young males. Multivariate analysis revealed a cluster of variables, including frequency of visiting arcades, time spent on each visit, amount spent, and overspending, which seemed to indicate habitual machine use. However, there was no clear dividing line between controlled and excessive machine use. Moreover, habitual machine use was not significantly related to length of history of use or perceived luck.

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