Volatility in UK gaming machines

Abstract

This initial study shows that volatility modelling can provide useful data for comparison of games and game types, but the data should be considered in the wider context of player motivation and gambling behaviour. However, we can at least conclude from the limited selection of games considered that:
- RTP volatility may increase significantly if the player transitions from category C to B3 gaming.
- RTP volatility does not necessarily increase if the player transitions from category B3 to B2 gaming.

A counterargument that might be explored is the gambler who “builds up a bank of winnings” and then wants to bet at a higher stake. As the size of their potential win increases with the higher stakes available, they may actually be looking for lower volatility; i.e. by placing bigger bets on “Black” or “Red” in a Roulette game they can still win larger prizes (in absolute rather than relative terms) and have a better chance of winning.

This discussion paper was produced for the Responsible Gambling Trust's MROP (Machines Research Oversight Panel, now IROP - Independent Research Oversight Panel).

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