Gambling: What’s Working and What’s Not
According to the latest empirical, the online experimental, actual, and theoretical data studied the impact of an abrupt forced internet gambling break, immediately following a 60-minute, five-minute, or fifteen-minute voluntary online gambling session on subsequent gambling behavior. Further empirical research also revealed that in this case, there was a significantly reduced number of binges and a significantly lower rate of participation in risky casino gambling. The results, according to these studies, show that short breaks (in minutes rather than hours) during the course of repeated gambling sessions can potentially reduce the risk of binging.
In the present study
participants who gambled for at least five sessions in a month were divided into two groups. One group was told they could gamble as much as they wanted for 60 minutes every day, the other group was told they could only gamble for a set number of minutes. The participants who gambled for the extended duration stayed more immersed in the gambling task, made fewer mistakes, and showed better learning outcomes than the control group. As a result, the researchers concluded that this kind of stimulus can be effectively used as a smoking deterrent. The results showed that the longer gambling periods significantly reduced the prevalence and frequency of cigarette smoking.
During the second part of the study
the participants were exposed to a real-world gambling environment but had access to only a fraction of the total number of bets they would have normally made during their gambling sessions. The result showed that no significant differences in behavioral differences emerged between the two groups. In other words, the participants were no different when it came to preferences, beliefs, or expectations in the real-world environment. This suggests that previous studies measuring these aspects in the context of gambling are invalid. The absence of direct experience with a risky situation does not account for these results; instead, it appears that the effectiveness of a personalized feedback system has to do with the way the mind perceives prior experiences and the way the brain processes information from those prior experiences.
The final part of the research utilized a survey method.
A sample of volunteers participated in an online study and was asked to complete one or two questionnaires daily. On each survey, three items were asked: “How much do you typically spend at actual gaming establishments?” “Do you feel that playing computer games is a waste of time?” Finally, “Are you familiar with the idea of mandatory play breaks?” The responses from the first two surveys were combined to create a composite score, which was then compared between the group that participated in online games and the group that did not.
The results from the present authors show
that mandatory play breaks seem to be effective. In fact, they found that the majority of the participants who benefitted from the new technology were those who are “gamers” by nature. That is, they are the ones that enjoy sitting down at a computer and playing a game. Further, the vast majority of gamers, represented by a large number of Leszczynski et al. participants, are men.
Blaszczynski and colleagues suggest
that this is an ideal time for a gambling operator to implement mandatory breaks. Why? The researchers suggest that the advent of online technology has increased the number of people who are now actively participating in online gambling sessions. Further, many of these people are coming from areas where gambling is illegal, or at least not approved for social consumption. If these people are unable to participate in legal activities, their interest in gambling is likely to dry up. The result is less revenue for the gambling operator and more complaints from customers that the service is not meeting their expectations.