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Slot Machines Could Solve Gambling Addiction in the Future

21 October 2013

Several gamblers all around the world have admitted that gambling machines can be so appealing that, many times, they cannot stop playing and feel forced to play again and again. This is partially true, for many gambling enthusiasts have been confronted with excessive gambling problems at some point in their lives. But, with technology becoming more advanced and more studies being conducted, researchers are starting to think about solutions which could minimize the effects of addictive gambling machines in the near future and could also be in favor of gaming suppliers.

A study ran by experts at the University of Brescia in Italy revealed that gaming machines could be designed in such way that they will be able to predict whether the gamblers which are playing at the machines are confronted with problem gambling or not. The researchers unveiled that the majority of punters who opted for closing their accounts because of money issues had the widest variance in the size of the money they wagered through a certain period of time. A graph created by experts showed that the size of the bets either increased slowly or instantly dropped to almost zero, which resulted in a pattern called “sawtooth”, that predicted unsustainable betting.

By using this pattern, researchers are trying to team up with various gambling suppliers in order to collect data that will reveal how many gamblers present addictive behaviors. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Howard Schaffer explained that he and his team partnered with an online gaming site, analyzed data on the sawtooth pattern for around 40,000 gamblers and thought about creating an algorithm that will announce the player to slow down or stop every time he shows a risk to become addicted.

Even if gaming suppliers could feel threatened by this new endeavor and might think that by introducing such algorithms, their revenue streams might get affected, experts say that only 1 percent of the entire population showed problem gambling behavior during the last 40 years. For comparison, studies have revealed that more than 70 percent of the entire American adult population has gambled in 2012. On the other hand, by introducing these new methods, gaming suppliers will have the opportunity to offer their services to gamblers who are aware of much money they spend, but who are engaged in sustainable gambling and could constantly gamble at casinos. Furthermore, operators who will protect their clients from gambling addiction will most surely gain a better reputation and will become more reliable.

21 October 2013

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