Internet gambling: Misleading payout rates during the “demo” period


For many gamblers, internet gambling may be an attractive new activity. Knowing that internet gambling follows no specific regulations, it was hypothesized that some sites would use questionable strategies in order to grab any interested potential player surfing the net. This study addressed two research questions: (1) Do some internet casino sites provide inflated payout rates when gamblers play on the slot machine demo games? (2) Will these sites keep the same rates when gamblers play for real money? Results show that 45 (39%) of the 117 visited sites provided inflated payout rates (over 100%) in the demo session. But these unrealistic high rates were not maintained when playing for real money. In addition, some sites used marketing strategies reinforcing false beliefs about the notion of chance and randomness. These findings are discussed in the context of responsible gambling policies.

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