EGM characteristics report-CONFIDENTIALISED NSW SUMMARY

EGM characteristics report-CONFIDENTIALISED NSW SUMMARY

Gamble buttons for risking EGM winnings from an attitudinal and behavioural perspective

Background

Double up or gamble buttons are a very common feature of most poker machines. Such buttons effectively allow EGM players to bet their win for the chance to typically double or quadruple their prize. In some cases, players can also use a half gamble feature to gamble half their winnings. For this purpose, card games are a common feature of gamble games. Once a player wins, they are required to choose one of two cards for the chance to double their winnings or one in four cards for the chance to quadruple their winnings. From this perspective, a part of the current study involved examining player attitudes and behaviours relating to gamble buttons in EGMs. This also explored player preferences for gamble games involving doubling or quadrupling their winnings and the overall player inclination to gamble winnings, as observed through live EGM play (as player use of the gamble button was recorded).

EGM player views about gamble buttons

Gamble buttons were reported during qualitative research to not be of great interest to most EGM players. Players also reported a reluctance to use such buttons for anything other than very small wins. This was primarily because players wanted to avoid regret in risking money they had won. For other players, there was also a fear of having to shorten their time at the machine as a result of losing in a gamble game.

In this respect, the feeling of losing a win was seen as something to avoid and decreased player satisfaction with the play experience. Some players also believed that using gamble buttons was akin to being a risk-taker and that the button may be used recklessly by some people in vulnerable situations. Key examples were when players were consuming alcohol during play or when players were feeling down or depressed.

Comments reflecting overall player views about ‘gamble’ buttons included:

I think people have a low inclination to gamble their winnings out of concern that they will be lost in a single spin. I never do the gamble feature. I figure if I’ve won something, I’ve won something, even if it small. I know I am going to risk it again, even if I press the play button. But I don’t want to throw it away (doubling up), even if it is a 50/50 chance

I can't gamble, because that would be four more spins! My friend gambles the one in four option. I don't do halves. I always forget it is there, but that would be better. My friend who gambles [doubles up] all the time, she can get it up to $60. I just don't like doing it. It's too risky

I don't use it. I'd rather just keep playing on, it is more fun than just pressing red or black. I'd rather save the money to try to get a feature than risk it

Players are more likely to use double up for small compared to large wins. If I am betting like $1.50 and I win 75c I'll have a go at gambling. Anything that is bigger than I'm betting, I'll keep. It is all the small stuff I’ll gamble

You never double up big amounts. No way!

My brother loved to double up. He would double up $300. I do double-up when there are little wins.

But not big ones. I'd never double up more than $1

I don't double up. If you win 20c, I may double up - so only for small amounts

I don't play it as it's not that interesting compared to features

I think the double up is a dangerous thing. I think you could win a jackpot and double up. With people and their gambling, they can't control it. They are looking for an ultimate rush. So it's dangerous. They should limit double for big prizes. Over $100, they shouldn't allow double-up

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Young people seem to double up a lot. It's a risk-taking thing. Particularly when people get loaded on alcohol

If I've had a few free spins and have won $4, then I will just go, bang, red, and double it! The main aim is to get a feature and get a big win, rather than make all those small little wins something big. There are people who will go red black red black up to $100. Sometimes it gets to that stage where you get up to say $64 and people will stop as they don’t want to lose $64

I'm more just aiming for features, but I will gamble small amounts. It takes up more time though. If you are trying to win money and you are not worried about the time, there is that issue of how much time do you want to spend on the machine. If you are in no hurry, you might try to double-up and make $5 or $10 and that will keep you there for longer. If you do that a number of times, then you are actually making a decent amount of money

Self-reported general use of double up

Gamblers were asked to indicate how often they doubled up during the attitudinal component of the survey. Results are presented in Table 67. Overall findings suggested that most players did not use double up frequently with an overall mean of only 1.6 (based on a five point scale where 1 is not at all and 5 is very often). While problem gamblers reported using double up slightly more frequently than non-problem gamblers, the difference was not statistically significant.

Table 67. Reported general use of double up – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=219, October 2013 - April 2014)

Mean (1=not at all, 5=very often)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Frequency of double up

N

1.6a,b

40

1.3a

63

1.7b,c

73

2.0a

43

1.6

219

Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1=not at all and 5=very often. How often do you double-up during play?

(Base: All gamblers) (Significant differences at a pair wise comparison level denoted by different letters within each row at p<.05)

Player preferences for different types of gamble games

EGM player preferences for different types of gamble games were similarly examined in the study. This included comparing player preferences for games that involved picking one of two cards (e.g., such as the red or black card) to double winnings versus picking one in four (such as card suits) to quadruple winnings.

This presents an interesting indication of the risk orientation of EGM players as different games have different odds of winning. In particular, games involving picking one of two cards have a 50% chance of winning (for the chance to double winnings) and games involved picking one of four cards have a 25% chance of winning (for the chance to quadruple winnings).

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Results showing player preferences for different gamble games are in Table 68. Overall, there was a strong preference for doubling-up one of two cards (71.6% of all EGM players). Respondents participating in qualitative research suggested double up games were more attractive as the odds of winning were higher

(as there was a 50% chance of winning). In comparison, only 15.8% of all EGM players preferred the one in four card gamble games. A further 12.6% of players also reported never doubling up at all. Findings also showed that these same trends applied to all risk segments of gamblers with no significant differences apparent between risk segments.

Table 68. Attitude toward use of double-up – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=222, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

1 of 2 card double-up games

Non-problem gamblers

69.0a

Low risk gamblers

68.8a

% EGM players

Moderate risk gamblers

75.3a

Problem gamblers

72.1a

All gamblers

1 of 4 card double-up games

Don’t ever double-up

16.7a

14.3a

17.2a

14.1a

13.7a

11.0a

16.3a

11.6a

N 42 64 73 43

Question: If you had to double-up, are you more likely to double-up when there are 1 of 2 cards or 1 of 4 cards?

(Base: All gamblers) (Significant differences at a pair wise comparison level denoted by different letters within each row at p<.05)

71.6

15.8

12.6

222

Qualitative comments highlighting reasons for player preferences for different games included:

I go 50-50 as you have a better chance of winning. The other gives you a one in four chance. It’s way too hard

I always go suits. Because you get more off it. I think it is four times from the suit and then you double your money for just the right colour. So it’s suits for me

I like the 50-50 v the 25% chance. If it was a 25%, I wouldn't play it

The maximum winnings EGM players would gamble

The maximum amount of money that EGM players would gamble was also investigated. This involved asking players to indicate the highest amount they would consider risking in a gamble game. Results are shown in Table 69. The average maximum win all EGM players reported being prepared to double up was

$12.18. While mean values were not statistically different by risk segment, findings appeared to suggest that problem gamblers were probably likely to be prepared to double up a higher amount ($32.32) than non-problem gamblers ($9.23).

Table 69. Attitude toward maximum double-up value –

Results by risk for problem gambling (N=209, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Maximum $ double-up (Mean)

Maximum $ double-up (Median)

Non-problem gamblers

9.23a

1.00

Low risk gamblers

5.47a

1.00

Moderate risk gamblers

7.77a

2.00

Problem gamblers

32.32a

4.00

N 39 60 69 41

Question: What is the maximum amount you would consider doubling-up during a pokies game? (Base: All gamblers)

(Significant differences at a pair wise comparison level denoted by different letters within each row at p<.05)

All gamblers

12.18

1.00

209

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Excitement associated with gambling winnings

In spite of the apparent reluctance of all gamblers to use the gamble feature, the overall excitement associated with use of gamble generally was still of interest to the study. To this end, players were asked to rate their overall level of excitement associated with use of double up during EGM play. Results are in

Table 70. This includes the overall excitement associated with double up generally, the excitement associated with the one in two card games, one in four card games and also use of the half gamble button

(where players gamble half their winnings).

Findings overall suggested that using double up was only somewhat exciting (mean=2.3). It was also noteworthy that players considered the one in four card games as slightly more exciting (mean=2.3) than the one in two card games (mean=2.2). Using the half gamble button, however, was not viewed as very exciting at all, attracting the lowest overall mean (mean=1.7). While a few minor significant differences were apparent between risk segments, differences between non-problem gamblers and problem gamblers were not statistically significant.

Table 70. Attitude toward the use of different double-up options – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=199-209, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Doubling up during play

N

Double-up games which ask you to pick 1 of 2 cards so you win double the amount

N

Non-problem gamblers

2.2a,b

39

2.2a,b

39

Mean (1=not at all exciting, 5=very exciting)

Low risk gamblers

1.9a

60

1.9a

57

Moderate risk gamblers

2.4b

69

2.3a,b

65

Problem gamblers

2.6b,c

41

2.7b

39

All gamblers

2.3

209

2.2

200

Double-up games which ask you to pick 1 of 4 cards so you win 4x the amount

N

2.2a

39

2.1a

57

2.3a

65

2.6a

39

2.3

200

Using the half gamble button

– where you gamble at least half your winnings

N

1.7a,b 1.3a 1.9b 1.7a,b 1.7

39 56 62 42 199

Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = not at all and 5 = very exciting, please rate the extent to which the following are exciting. (Base: All gamblers) (Significant differences at a pair wise comparison level denoted by different letters within each row at p<.05)

Accidental use of double up by EGM players

Qualitative research highlighted that several EGM players reported occasional accidental use of the double up button. This was reported to occur given that gamble buttons were either in close proximity to other buttons or alternatively, were dual function buttons. In some circumstances, this resulted in positive outcomes and other times negative (losing money you had not meant to double-up) -

My brother was playing and he got to $75 and accidently hit the wrong colour button and got $150! He went to do the max reels or lines or whatever [the button next to red] and accidently pressed gamble instead. How often it happens depends on how much you concentrate when playing. The small buttons you play with are the same buttons you gamble with. So you have to be careful.

There was also an overall view that improved button layouts had potential to prevent accidental use of double up.

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The frequency of accidental use of double up was also explored in the attitudinal survey. Results are shown in Table 71. Findings overall suggested low accidental use of double up by EGM players overall

(mean=1.6). While differences were not statistically significant between non-problem and problem gamblers, problem gamblers appeared to accidentally use double up slightly more often as the difference was tending towards significance [t=1.9(66), p=.06].

Table 71. Attitude toward accidental use of double up – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=219, October 2013 -April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Mean (1=not at all, 5=very often)

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Frequency of accidental double up

N

1.6a,b

40

1.3a

63

1.7b,c

73

2.0a

43

1.6

219

Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1=not at all and 5=very often. How often have you hit double up when it has been part of another button? (Base: All gamblers)

Gambling winnings to recoup losses

Gambling winnings to recoup losses was reported as a further theme in qualitative research. Using the gamble button in this situation was considered a form of reckless behaviour that resulted out of some level of desperation. Where gamble buttons were used, players would also often report feeling reckless. This was especially the case when gamble buttons were used multiple times sequentially. This behaviour was similarly described to occur out of frustration when players were continually losing and desired a bigger win. Other players reported using double up when they had won free spins and felt able to ‘splurge’ their winnings. Accordingly, there were many ‘strategies’ reported that governed the use of double up by EGM players.

Comments highlighting the use of double up to recoup losses included:

When you are on a downward loss, you tend to double up more out of desperation. People also up their bets to win back their money. It’s just what you do when you’re down

I use double up quite a bit. If I lost my money and you recoup your losses, you use it to get your money back. I like it because it's 50-50. It’s like - you're broke or you're going to Sizzler. I usually take the red or black option

When people are on a downward loss, you tend to double up more out of desperation. People also up their bets to win back their money. It’s the same principle. You get desperate to get your money back.

You want to win bad

Screen information showing previous results of gamble games

A further characteristic of EGMs identified during the study was that some machines presented the results of gamble games. For this reason, qualitative research explored the extent to which presentation of this information influenced EGM players. Feedback from players generally suggested that such information provided players with a feeling that they could predict the outcome of double up. This appeared to be based on the premise that, if a previous game had not won, the next game could be potentially successful

(i.e., players interpreted the odds of winning as higher if a previous game had not been won, as one in two games would win).

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While many players were aware that this was not necessarily the case, reading the information made them compelled to use the presented information to predict their likely game outcome. As such information was felt to be misleading, several players also felt that this information could be potentially harmful to players (as it encouraged players to believe they may be able to reliably predict the outcome of gamble game features) –

Some machines show you the results of double ups. You can double up based on the pattern you see. This makes you think about your choice of card. It does make you feel that you may be able to control the result if you pick carefully. I don’t think they should show people that as it can be quite misleading.

Actual use of double up during EGM play observations

As part of the study, actual player use of the gamble button was examined during EGM play. Observers recorded both the use of gamble and also the type of gamble game played (i.e., whether players opted to pick one in two cards, one in four cards etc.). Use of the ½ gamble button was also recorded. Findings are shown in Table 72.

Results overall showed that use of the gamble button was very limited with gamble being used around 0.8 times on average for each EGM play session. Findings also showed that the most popular form of gamble – double up - was used at least once in 8.2% of all EGM play sessions. Use of the one in four card gamble game was also very low with the button only being used in 1.8% of all EGM play sessions.

This further illustrates that double up is not very popular amongst EGM players and is generally used only very rarely. While differences were not statistically significant between non-problem gamblers and problem gamblers (for means or percentage use), it is noteworthy that problem gamblers appeared to have slightly higher use of the gamble button overall.

Table 72. Mean times gamble was used in EGM play sessions – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=391, October 2013 – April 2014)

Type of gamble games

Mean times gamble was used during observation of EGM play based on percentage of EGMs played (%)

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Types of gamble games

½ winnings were doubled up – Mean times used

½ winnings were doubled up – % using at least once

Gambled using 2 card game – Mean times used

Gambled using 2 card game - % using at least once

Gambled using 4 card game – Mean

Gambled using 4 card game – % using at least once

Total ‘gambles’ – Number of 1/2, 2 card game gambles and 4 card game gambles in total - Mean

Total ‘gambles’ – % using at least once

Multiple sequential use of double up

0.5a,b

4.2%

0.6a,b

5.6%

0.0a

1.4%

1.1a,b

5.6%

0.2a,b

4.0%

0.2a

4.8%

0.0a

0.8%

0.4a

5.6%

0.1a

4.8%

0.4a,b

9.7%

0.0a

1.6%

0.5a

10.5%

0.7a

10.1%

1.0b

14.5%

0.1a

4.3%

1.8b

14.5%

0.3

5.4%

0.5

8.2%

0.0

1.8%

0.8

8.7%

Times gamble was used more than once in a row 0.0a,b 0.0a 0.0a

N (EGM play sessions) 72 126 124

Observational data – The number of times EGM players gambled their winnings was recorded for each EGM play session

(Base: All EGM play sessions)

0.1b

69

0.0

391

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KEY FINDINGS RELATING TO EGM GAMBLE BUTTONS

Key points in summary – EGM gamble buttons

Gamble buttons are not reported to be used frequently by gamblers and are reported to be only used for very small wins (as players did not want to risk losing winnings or shorten time at EGMs)

Players were seen to be more vulnerable to the effects of gamble buttons when they were intoxicated or depressed and reported that such situations lead to lower inhibitions and greater risk taking

There was a strong preference for doubling-up one of two cards (71.6% of all EGM players) as opposed to playing the 1 in 4 card gamble games (only preferred by 15.8% of all EGM players). A further 12.6% of players also reported never doubling up at all

Qualitative research suggests that 1 in 2 card games are played, as players like that they have a better chance of winning (as it was 50-50). This appears to be more important than 1 in 4 games that only have a 25% chance of winning, yet allow players to quadruple winnings

EGM players are often not aware they can change gamble games from 1 in 2 (typically the default) to

1 in 4 or half gambles on many EGMs

The average maximum win all EGM players reported being prepared to double up was $12.18 –

While problem gamblers appeared to be prepared to double up a little more money (mean=$32.32) compared to non-problem gamblers ($9.24), the difference was not statistically significant

(so differences should naturally be interpreted with due caution)

1 in 4 gamble games were considered a little more exciting (mean=2.3) than 1 in 2 games

(mean=2.2), but using the half gamble button was not very exciting (mean=1.7)

Having dual function buttons with gamble on EGMs was reported to be associated with greater accidental use of gamble buttons (where doubling up winnings was not intended) – although accidental use was not very frequent overall (mean=1.6 – where 1=not at all, 5=very often)

EGM players reported sometimes using the gamble button out of frustration when many losses had occurred in previous EGM games (with a desire to recoup losses)

Presentation of prior gamble game outcomes on EGM screens (a feature of some EGMs) leads to players believing they can predict the outcome of gamble games – This may be contributing to false cognitions that players can control game outcomes

EGM play observations showed that overall use of the gamble button was very limited with gamble only used 0.8 times on average for each EGM play session

Results also highlighted that:

- The most popular form of gamble – double up - was used at least once in 8.2% of all EGM sessions

- Use of the one in four card gamble game was very low and used in 1.8% of all EGM sessions

This suggests that gamble games are not very popular and are used rarely.

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EGM jackpots from an attitudinal and behavioural perspective

Background

The effect of jackpots on play behaviour was also investigated in the study. The jackpot characteristics of

EGMs selected by EGM players were examined, along with the perceived influence of jackpots on EGM play behaviour. Qualitative research also permitted investigation of the overall perceived value of jackpots from a player perspective. However, given that previous detailed research has already been undertaken by

GRA on jackpots, this was a minor focus of the current study, rather than a major focus.

Perceived value of jackpots when selecting EGMs

Qualitative research confirmed that jackpot size was typically the key structural characteristic that most influenced player selection of an EGM. Most players saw less value in selecting machines that did not have jackpots, as this would imply that any wins would only be small in nature. Linked jackpots – where machines were linked in a wide area network – were also considered the most attractive type of jackpot as such EGMs would typically have larger jackpot prizes. Some players – especially problem gamblers – also felt that jackpots would trigger play persistence.

Comments highlighting the overall influence of jackpots on EGM player choice of machines included:

I go for the Money Train and machines that have features and also minor and the major prizes. Minor might be $20 and top one might be $10,000. I think if I am going to play the machines and some have this extra chance, then you might win the $5,000

I might be prepared to lose a bit more on a machine where I know I can win big. So I look for good jackpots

Prizes are the major influence for me

The jackpot is the biggest influence for me

I like machines that show jackpots. The ones without jackpots I don't like to play

Chasing the progressive jackpots makes me spend more than I can afford. I look out for these machines

Number one is the jackpots for me. It’s just the excitement of winning that pulls you in

The size of the prize is most enticing. It puts the image in your mind and it’s something to be aiming towards

Jackpots, especially when they are high, lead me to spend money

Most of the time I would go towards a machine with a jackpot attached to it

Jackpot linked features are more attractive and I look out for them

Some features will double your jackpot. Like linked jackpot features. I like those!

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EGM players interestingly also held a general view that EGMs in banks would offer better jackpots, as there was a perception that jackpots associated with such EGMs would be larger (or linked), given that they were situated in a bank. This may highlight that many players will look for EGM bank configurations as a visual indicator of an available jackpot in venues. Comments included:

I like the bank ones. There are a few around now. Like Mr Cashman but it is too old now. They offer better wins being in a row together

If it was a new machine, I'd choose a big bank based on the machine paying more. Banks I think give you better wins as more money goes in

I think it's easier to lose track of your spending on a bank, as there's heaps of different games. This is because machines are often linked and people spend more money on bank machines than single machines

I like the banks of machines more. I just think people put more money into them as they're all linked together, so more money is available for wins

Perceived influence of jackpots

The attitudinal component of the quantitative research explored the excitement associated with jackpots.

Results are shown in Table 73. Findings overall showed that the size of jackpots generally was found to be exciting for all EGM players (mean=3.6). In addition, progressive jackpots perceived as being close to going off were also found to be quite exciting overall (mean=3.3). As no significant differences were found between non-problem and problem gamblers, overall results suggested that jackpot availability more generally had a similar level of effect on play excitement for all risk segments (This may also be because specific sizes of jackpots were not mentioned in the question).

Table 73. Excitement associated with EGM jackpots – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=219-220, October 2013 - April 2014)

Mean (1=not at all exciting, 5=very exciting)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

The size of the jackpots or maximum prize on the machines

3.4a 3.7a 3.8a 3.5a 3.6

N

Progressive jackpots which you think are close to going off

N

42

3.2a

63

3.3a

72

3.4a

43

3.4a

220

3.3

42 62 72 43 219

Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = not at all and 5 = very exciting, please rate the extent to which the following are exciting

(Base: All gamblers)

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Actual size of jackpots selected for EGM play

While previous results showed that jackpots were exciting for all EGM players, observational data provided an opportunity to validate how EGM players selected EGMs based on available jackpots and jackpot sizes. For this purpose, each EGM played was recorded as either having or not having a linked jackpot. In addition, the mean prizes associated with the first, second and third jackpot prizes were recorded, along with any progressive jackpot prizes (although in some cases, not every machine had prizes shown and in some cases, there were fewer than three top prizes, so only available prizes were recorded).

Key findings are shown in Table 74.

Findings overall showed that 38.1% of all EGMs played had a linked jackpot. Findings similarly showed that problem gamblers played a significantly higher percentage of EGMs with a linked jackpot (43.7% of all

EGMs played), compared to non-problem gamblers (only 17.9% of all EGMs played) [χ=10.7(1), p<.01].

When the mean prizes were compared across EGMs, findings also revealed that problem gamblers were attracted to play machines with significantly higher top prizes, compared to non-problem gamblers. The top mean prize of EGMs selected by problem gamblers was a very high $7,393, while the mean top prize for non-problem gamblers was only $3,005.70 [t=-2.7(48), p<.05]. Problem gamblers also selected EGMs with significantly higher prizes for progressive jackpots [t=-2.1(27), p<.05].

Table 74. Percentage of EGMs played with a linked jackpot – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=88-373 EGMs, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Percent of EGMs played with a linked jackpot (% EGMs)

Percent of total EGMs played with linked jackpots

17.9a

N

Mean size of jackpots on EGMs played ($)

Progressive jackpot values

67

4,631.90a

% EGMs played that had a linked jackpot

Low risk gamblers

26.9a

119

Moderate risk gamblers

24.1a

116

Problem gamblers

43.7b

71

All gamblers

38.1

373

7,489.50a 8,994.80a 10,204.0b $8,501.38

N

Top prize on EGMs (including progressives)

N

Second prize on EGMs

N

Third prize on EGMs

11

3,005.70a

38

407.50a

37

62.70a

32

4,484.20a

84

568.20a

82

58.40a

20

3,551.40a

76

509.0a

75

78.70a,b

25

7,393.0b

45

1287.2a

45

134.7a

88

$5,384.33

243

$890.27

239

$105.36

N 22 56 42 32 152

Observational data – Jackpot characteristics of all EGMs played was recorded during observations (Base: All observed EGM players with usable jackpot data) (Significant differences at a pair wise comparison level denoted by different letters within each row at p<.05)

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KEY FINDINGS RELATING TO EGM JACKPOTS

Key points in summary – EGM jackpots

Many players and particularly problem gamblers believed that jackpots encouraged play persistence

EGMs located in banks were often a visual cue used by EGM players to identify jackpots – many players assumed that machine in banks would have better jackpots (as they are linked together)

Around 38.1% of EGMs played during observations had a linked jackpot

Problem gamblers played a significantly higher percentage of EGMs with a linked jackpot

(43.7% of all EGMs played), compared to non-problem gamblers (only 17.9% of all EGMs played)

The top mean jackpot prize of EGMs selected by problem gamblers for play was significantly higher

($7,393) than the mean top prize of EGMs selected by non-problem gamblers ($3,005.70) -

Problem gamblers also selected EGMs with significantly higher prizes for progressive jackpots

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Other miscellaneous EGM structural characteristics from an attitudinal and behavioural perspective

Other miscellaneous EGM characteristics considered in the study are described and presented in this section. These relate to mostly external characteristics of EGMs and include EGM reserve buttons, machine denomination branding (and how easy the branding is for players to see), sound, lights and music, as well as those features thought to have a role in player decision making such as pre-commitment systems, on-screen messages and game rules and information.

Use of reserve buttons on EGMs

There is limited evidence regarding player use of the reserve button on EGMs. Anecdotally, it appears that the button has some utility for smokers, who are able to reserve an EGM while taking a smoking break.

Other uses of the reserve button are for toilet or short drink and food breaks. Quantitative results in

Table 75 show how often players used the reserve button and the extent to which they felt associated breaks may assist players to regain control over their play.

Based on historical self-report data, the mean number of times players used the reserve button was approximately 1.5 times per gambling session. Non-problem gamblers used the button reserve fewer times per session (mean=1.0) than problem gamblers (mean=2.0). The difference between these groups was also statistically significant [t=-2.5(65), p<.05]. Low risk gamblers (mean=1.6) and moderate risk gamblers (mean=1.4) also used the reserve button at least once during a session. The difference between mean use for all at-risk groups (low risk, moderate risk and problem gamblers), compared to non-problem gamblers was also statistically significant [t=-2.6(217), p<.05].

The extent use of the EGM reserve button helped players regain control over their gambling is shown in

Table 75. This was reported on a scale where 1 was not at all and 4 was significantly. A mean score of 1.5 was obtained for all gamblers, suggesting that overall breaks helped a little. The utility of breaks also varied by risk segment. Problem gamblers found breaks (mean=1.6) of significantly greater utility than non-problem gamblers (mean=1.2) [t=-2.5(64.8), p<.05]. Findings also showed that all at-risk gamblers also found the break as more useful than non-problem gamblers [t=-3.3(119.2), p=.001]. Such results may also support the value of technological solutions to assist players to have access to breaks in play such as those linked to use of player cards via pre-commitment schemes.

Table 75. Attitude toward use of the reserve button – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=205-219, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Number of times players use reserve buttons during session

1.0a 1.6b,c 1.4a,b 2.0c 1.5

N

Extent to which reserved breaks help you regain control of play

42

1.2a

63

1.5a,b

72

1.6b

42

1.6b,c

219

1.5

41 58 65 41 205

Questions: How many times do you use the reserve button during an average session? (Number of times per session of play recorded)

On a scale from 1 to 4, where 1=not at all and 4=helped significantly. To what extent do the breaks you have when you use the reserve button help you regain control of your poker machine play (help that you feel in control so that you don’t spend beyond your limits)? (Base: All gamblers)

Player comments regarding the use of the reserve button largely related to confusion that could result when the button had a dual function (e.g. a Reserve button also had a Collect button function). This issue is discussed in the section ‘Difficulties locating Collect buttons’.

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Player confusion over EGM denominations

EGM players were asked how often they had been confused by the EGM denomination when selecting a machine to play. This was raised as an issue during qualitative research, as some EGM players reported mistakenly playing $1 denomination EGMs thinking they were only 1 cent denomination (as the denomination was hard to see).

Results are shown in Table 76. Results showed that confusion occurred fairly infrequently for gamblers overall (mean=1.8). Non-problem gamblers reported selecting an EGM of the wrong denomination the least frequently of all groups (mean=1.5), while problem gamblers (mean=1.9) and moderate risk gamblers (mean=1.9) reported doing this occasionally in the previous 12 months. All at-risk gamblers

(mean=1.9) also reported being confused about denominations significantly more often than non-problem gamblers (mean=1.5) [t=-2.1(219), p<.05].

Table 76. Started using an EGM that thought was a different denomination – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=221, October 2013 - April 2014)

EGM characteristic

Non-problem gamblers

Mean (1=not at all, 5=very often)

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Accidentally selected EGM with incorrect denomination

1.5a 1.8a 1.9a 1.9a 1.8

N 42 64 72 43 221

Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = not at all and 5 = very often. How often over the last 12 months have you accidentally started to use a poker machine which you thought was a different denomination than it actually was – like using a $1 machine instead of a 1 cent machine (Base: All gamblers)

During focus groups players mentioned becoming confused over EGM denominations due to the difficulty visualizing the branding between a $1 machine and a 1 cent EGM (as the display of the denomination was often very inconspicuous and located in small font in the right hand corner of the EGM screen). This was thought to be quite problematic for EGM players with poor eye sight, such as older players.

Comments highlighting this confusion were frequent in focus groups and included:

I think the 1c badge works best. I've seen a 5 center with a 5 and a little c and it doesn't stand out much. It blends into the background. So people who are looking at those types, may not find out what they are playing. So you can be tricked by those and spend more than you thought you were

When some $1 machines, people think it's 1c, but it's actually $1. I've done that a few times. You go whoops. But since I know them, I'm OK. The higher denomination ones have fewer buttons. It's just a dollar per bet fixed and it's the number of lines

Qualitative feedback from EGM players suggested that clearer labeling of machine denominations would be useful including labelling on EGM banks. Comments included:

I like to see machines like 1c labelled on a bank. But in most venues, they are all over the place. So you don’t know what you’re playing at times. Then the betting amount is very small so it's very hard to read.

I think better labelling is also important for older people, so people have a clear choice of what you're using and which machine. Like a sticker so people can see what they're spending overall. Group the 1c,

5c and don't mix them but group them together

All the $1 machines are spread around the club. I think it's easier to have them around so you don't use them by mistake. Especially if you use them instead of the 1 cent machines. This happens on occasions. It’s difficult to know which is a $1 machine and which is a 1 center

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These $1 machines sometimes go up to $20 a hit. My mum didn't realise what she was doing one time and lost that amount in a single bet. She thought it was a 1 center. I think they should label those machines more clearly

I don't think they have 1c machine branded clearly in all venues. It's more difficult to ascertain whether a machine is a 5c or 10c etc. Or $1. It's less conspicuous. I think they do that on purpose. If 20 people make a $1 mistake, it's $20. That could be improved - I like a clear 1c stamp. I think having a constant colour for 1c versus others would help. The colours would help distinguish the machine. So people know what they are spending

The 1c is 1 and a little c. The $1 is written very similar. Plenty of older people are putting in money thinking it's a 1c and it's actually $1. Signage needs to be improved in most venues

Many machines have 1 so you think it’s 1c, but it’s actually $1. So they need to label those better – I see heaps of people making mistakes. You know for most of the others – but 1c and $1 are the worst offenders overall

Players also reported getting confused about machine denominations where certain machine brands offered multiple denomination variations. Like one single machine could be perhaps a 1c, 2c or 10c machine. Due to poor labelling, some players would accidentally play the wrong denomination variation of their preferred machine on occasions –

People sit down at a 2c machine and they press 3 credits per bet and you realise you're betting $1.50 instead of 0.75c. This is because the same machine at a different club is a 1 center. This should really be clearer to avoid this sort of thing happening.

Player interaction with game information buttons

EGM player knowledge, use and perceived utility associated with the player information or game menu button available on EGMs was additionally explored this study. These typically bought up scrollable screens of information that provided players with an opportunity to review ‘how to win information’ and in some cases, odds information on an EGM. The provision of this information is broadly consistent with the principles of informed decision making.

EGM players were asked at the end of their observed session of EGM play to report their use and knowledge of the game and player information button on one of the EGMs played. They were asked if they had previously read the information prior to that day and what would typically prompt them to read the information more generally. Results are presented in Table 77.

Overall, 49% of all gamblers indicated they had previously read the information. A greater proportion of all at risk gambling segments reported reading the information (between 50-60%) than non-problem gamblers (30%). Differences, however, were not statistically significant.

All players were then also asked to read the information on each of the information screens presented.

Given the low levels of prior use of the button, interviewer often had to show players how to move between screens. In some cases, information was also read out to the player in order to increase engagement. Players were then asked to rate how easy it was to understand their chance of winning on the EGM based on the presented information. All EGM players rated the information as moderately easy to understand (mean=3.9), and there was little difference in ratings between risk segments.

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Table 77. Whether EGM players had previously read the game information screen – Results by risk for problem gambling (N=210-222, October 2013 – April 2014)

Has previously read the game information screen

Non- problem gamblers

% Gamblers / Mean (1=not at all, 5=very easy)

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

All gamblers

Has previously read the game information screen (% EGM players)

30.0a 59.7a 48.5a 50.0a 48.6

N

Ease of understanding your overall chance of winning from reading this information

40

3.9a

62

4.0a

68

3.7a

40

4.0a

210

3.9

N 42 64 73 43 222

Question: Have you ever read the information menu on the EGM screen? (Base: All gamblers); How easy is it to understand you overall chance of winning from reading this information? (Base: All gamblers)

The relatively high ratings recorded for understanding, however, were frequently at odds with the experience of interviewers. Interviewers frequently reported low levels of player engagement with the information and a consequent low level of understanding. Comments reflecting this related mostly to formatting and presentation issues (e.g. small font sizes, too much information and crowded text). This appeared to discourage further interaction with the information. Several players also noted that the rules relating to symbol substitution, eligibility for bonus prizes and winning lines were quite unclear.

Illustrative comments made about information screens included:

The lines you win on is confusing

There is too much information and too small print to read the information

They are very vague on the actual return – it is not easy to understand with the wording

There's too much information, it's confusing - it's all over the place

There's too much information and colour, it's too crowded. Prizes should be in front of you

There is too much writing

The substitution rules are unclear – There are too many to remember

The rules are not set out very well. They're confusing and there is too much information

This is quite small writing

The line configuration section contains too much information to understand

I don't really understand all these numbers and stuff

Easy to understand but some big wording so could be clearer

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As described in Table 77, just over half of all EGM players reported very limited interaction and use of game information screens. As winning symbols are typically presented on gaming machine cabinets – despite an apparent trend toward multi-game EGMs that do not present this information externally – it appeared that many players considered this information supplementary. Players were consequently asked what would prompt them to read such information. Qualitative responses to this question were free coded according to the reason discussed, as presented in Table 78. Figures reported do not add to 100 per cent as multiple responses were provided.

Consistent with previous findings, the majority of gamblers surveyed (28.8%) said they did not ever read the on screen player information so were unable to comment on specific prompts. Interestingly, very few players also said they read the information to check game rules (1.9%), odds of winning (1.4%) or to understand the pay lines (0.9%). This is intriguing given that the primary purpose of these screens is typically to provide such information. The most common use of the screen, however, related to using the information to check prizes/jackpots/pay outs (24.2%) and to familiarise with a new machine (14.4%).

Table 78. Factors prompting gamblers to read the player information – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=215, October 2013 - April 2014)

Reason for use

To check prizes/jackpots/pay outs

When playing a new machine

To understand the game/game play generally

To read about features and free spins/multiplier features

If doubt over prize/thinking symbol should win but didn't

To look for credits associated with special symbols (e.g., scatters, substitutes)

To read game rules

If EGM malfunctioned

Looking for another button (e.g., collect button, reserve button)

Non-problem gamblers

23.8a

9.5a

11.9a

9.5a

2.4a

2.4a

0.0

0.0

0.0

Low risk gamblers

25.4a

14.3a

12.7a

14.3a

4.8a

6.3a

4.8a

0.0

0.0

% of responses

Moderate risk gamblers

29.0a

14.5a

10.1a

7.2a

8.7a

2.9a

1.4a

5.8a

2.9a

To work out the odds of winning

To understand pay lines

0.0

0.0

1.6a

3.2a

0.0

0.0

Would read it before placing large bet or to work out how much to bet

Couldn’t mention any prompts (just said didn’t read information)

2.4a

40.5a

0.0

28.6a,b

0.0

20.3b

Question: What would typically prompt you to read the game information? (Base: All gamblers)

Problem gamblers

14.6a

19.5a

7.3a

4.9a

7.3a

7.3a

0.0

0.0

2.4a

4.9a

0.0

2.4a

31.7a,b

All gamblers

24.2a

14.4a

10.7a

9.3a

6.0a

4.7a

1.9a

1.9a

1.4a

1.4a

.9a

.9a

28.8a

What prompts EGM players to read the information

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Qualitative discussions with EGM players showed a clear player preference for learning about game play during play and having all information clearly presented on the gaming machine cabinet:

My friends never do this. They learn the rules by trial and error. Even when they get a free spin, you don't necessarily know why you get a free spin. But you learn over time how they are triggered

You don't go to a new machine and read the rules. I go on auto-pilot and learn as you go. You're in a pub to relax, not learn rules

Even if I don't know the machine, I'll just play press the buttons and that's it. I won't look at the info button

If I don't understand a feature, I'll look at the cabinet to see how you get the feature. There's an information button too. But I don't read any of it

I sometimes look at the information screen. I look at what is worth what money. Usually after losing, I look at the information on the screen. Hardly anybody I know uses the information button

Some players reported, however, occasionally accessing the information screen when they were not winning –

When I don't win, I start looking for how to win. You may sometimes press the button and have a look at the information.

Similarly, a few players held a belief that pressing the information button may help confuse the machine or indicate that the player is a beginner -

I press 'Help' and look at it trying to confuse the machine, so that they think you're a beginner. If you're a new player, you're going to get in as only beginners would press the button.

This player summarised the multitude of issues that appeared to deter access to the player information screen more generally:

My biggest problem with machines is that they don’t have a clear score board. You have to go into the pay table to have a look at what people are going to give you, which is why people have their pet machines. They don't have to work out how much they will pay. In the haste to make everything as attractive as possible, they've hidden away the most important information – like what you get for a certain set of symbols. There is nothing worse than not knowing what you are getting. Every now and then you have to press the information button. Though it is off-putting having to go there. It is so much easier if they can actually tell you clearly what the machine will pay on the cabinet. The screens don’t help as they are far too confusing and all seem to provide different information

Other players (outside Victoria where Player Information Screens exist) believed that EGM play information screens in the future should contain information on how much money and time the player has spent on the poker machine. This was seen as potentially offering players some harm minimisation benefits. Similarly, there was also a view that odds information should be regularly displayed to players to help people make informed decisions about their spending:

I think that every now and then – Like at $40 or whatever, you should be told you've spent $40 and asked - Do you want to continue? Just something you notice so it gets people thinking about how much they’ve spent. So people get reminded - they get caught up in the flow. It would be a great reminder for people and would make machines safer

Perhaps if as soon as you put your money in it gave you an introductory type screen that gave you some information and a warning with no option to skip it, that would be good. If it said the odds of getting the feature, that would be useful. So you could have people sitting there thinking, so my odds of getting the feature are as such and then they could decide whether to play on or not

If warnings came up during the game, it might just make you pause and think. It would probably be annoying but that might be a good thing. Or if it told you how much you'd cycled (spent). That would be a good thing. I think saying things about your family, mentioning family or life in general would be effective. It would make you think

Put on warnings like on the smoking packets. If they put warnings on machines that said 'you have spent this much' and maybe compare it to something. Then people would think harder about the money they're putting in

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Game information content that may confuse or mislead gamblers

While the limited perceived utility and unclear nature of the content presented via the game information button might explain current low levels of use, it was also apparent that some on-screen information could be very confusing for players and did not always present information in a consistent way. As the information was quite confusing, this also led many players to avoid such screens.

Example comments highlighting areas of confusion included:

The odds of winning should be always on those screens. But they are all inconsistent. I think they should state the odds of how often a free game or feature comes up. That's important, so you don't waste too much money keeping on going playing

I look at the information button. Some are easy to understand what's going on and others are really hard to understand. The information is daunting - it's so confusing that people don't want to read the information. You don't want to focus on the information - they make it hard for people to get the information in people's head about how to win or lose money. So people glance at it and see it as too confusing and leave it

Those menu screens are confusing. I think to fix this issue that people should be given more odds information on how to win the big one. Then you can scroll for minor information. So you want to know the big wins and the odds of winning. They should just give you the chance of winning the jackpot straight up. Then people can make better decisions about how to spend the money across machines.

You'd then be more inclined to play a certain brand of machines versus the other

Information screens need to be clearer. I think they should also do this for the minor jackpot too. They should tell you the odds. I think they should tell you how much money the machine has taken and how much money it's paid out. There's pros and cons, but this could help people make a decision about how to play

It's better to present the odds information first and foremost. Make people read the information by default so people see it before they play. We see a lot of information but our minds don't register. So maybe people should be made to see the basic odds every deposit of money into the machine. So before you start gambling the $200 of credit, you should get the information to encourage people to think about the odds of winning

I'd like to see the odds of features and free spins, along with jackpots on these screens. It's information players want, but hardly any have this type of information. It's all pretty hard to understand

In some machines, when you bet 25c, the 5 jacks will pay you $1. If I bet up to $2, the 4 jacks pay

$15. So you get a better multiplier for the same wins. The screen should tell you as you're changing the bet from 25c to $2.50, it should tell you how the odds of winning change. So people get the information they need to work out how to bet

There's a button with 'information' that tells you the return to player. It also tells you how much you have to spend on average to get something. The ''I' often says 1 in 20 to get a free spin or feature. I find it’s pretty confusing though, as each machine will give the information in different ways

If I'm playing 20c for $2 turnover, I’d like to know what percentage the machine is paying back. I read in a magazine years ago that machines can give you 83% back. So I'm constantly thinking about it and would like to know this information

In several instances, players also read content on information screens that suggested a need to bet larger amounts to be eligible for particular prizes -

Where's the Gold is hooked up to one of the trains. In the right hand corner on the information screen, it says things like 'the higher you bet the more chance you have of getting the jackpot'. So if someone goes on there and has a $5 hit, that sort of tells me that they are guaranteed to get the money train if they bet that way. I think that’s misleading

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In addition to some statements being potentially misleading, some players felt encouraged to bet higher when reading such information. At least 16 EGMs were also identified in the quantitative study as having information on game information menus that suggested the need to bet larger amounts to win or qualify for certain prizes (This is also a characteristic of some EGMs).

Specific content encouraging higher betting included:

You must play 243 lines to win (certain prizes)

You need to bet more credits to get (certain symbols)

Increasing the bet on each game increases your chance of winning

You must play maximum lines plus extra choice to be eligible for the feature

Increasing the total number of credits increases the chances of winning

The chance of a certain symbol appearing is proportional to the total credit bet

Increasing your bet on each game increases your chance of winning

Effects of EGM sound, music and light

While a separate series of experimental studies would be needed to fully understand the effects of music, light and sound on EGM play, it was clear that such characteristics play a significant role in the overall player attraction to EGMs and in the enjoyment of EGM play. Players universally considered sounds to be a very stimulating part of play and there was particular support for sounds that occurred in the context of wins.

Players also commented that many sounds were played upon a player losing and this was seen to ‘soften’ the experience of a loss. Some players held a view that the loudness of music played should be better standardised across machines. For instance, some machines played loud music on a win less than the bet placed, while others played a louder sound. It was also thought that players should not be enticed to ‘play on’ with music when they experienced a loss and that music generally should be adapted to the amount won to avoid misleading players.

Comments included:

Without sound, it'd be very boring. It is not fun without the sound

I think that noise when the money comes out is the most enticing as you associate that with money.

You know that comes when you've won a good amount. You don't get it for a minor win

There is one machine at the RSL that sings to you when you get to within 3 feet of it. It leads people in.

It must have a sensor. It sings 'rock around the clock'. Some sound effects are quite attractive though

It's so uplifting to hear the music. On the free games and features, it's louder. It attracts other people around the machine to look. I think that's an enjoyable thing as you like to know who has what and you look around and enjoy the feature

You hear background music. It makes you want to win

The buzzer sounds I associate with a feature generally. The jackpots are generally quiet sounds from what I remember. They just come up on the screen as jackpot. Gold coins come up when you win. If you win the Maxi jackpot, I get the impression they are keeping the win fairly quiet. But winning a mini on the Clowns or Cars, the feature is quite loud

In Vegas, I've played games with speakers in the seats. You're seat will vibrate and noises come out.

That's pretty cool. It stimulates you to play

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Music across machines differs when you win. Sometimes you win 50 credits and you don't get much music and then you get heaps on another. I don't understand that. It's confusing for people I think

I think some of the older ones make less fuss. The new ones make much more of a fuss with their music and their visual effects are more as well

The machines give a short jingle when you don't win more than your bet. Whereas if you win $20 off your $2, the music counts to the 2,000 credits. The music generally adjusts when you make smaller bets. I think the music is less exciting overall. It's a little hard to pick though

I think that there needs to be more visual effects rather than music when you win. You don't want to get rolled when you leave. It's more private. I like to turn down the sound. Some machines are ridiculously loud and others quieter

I love lights. I love the music. I've left a machine when I've found it dull. I love bright machines. They always excite me. I like clear colours that are bright and contrasting well with the dark room. They are also easier to see in a dark room. Dark colours don't work

Many EGM players also thought EGM manufacturers should regulate the type of music played during

Losses Disguised as Wins (LDWs) to avoid confusing players or providing a perception that players have won when they really haven’t won. Comments included:

I think reducing music in these cases should be done, as it's not technically a win. I don't think manufacturers should be able to do this. Also saying words like - Good Work - that should only be when your winnings are above your bet

I think when you win less than you bet, they do give you music that suggests a win. They shouldn't have music at all when you lose

Certain machines give you the triumphant sound when you win something. Machines say this is your lucky day and you've bet 80c and you've won 5c. They shouldn't tell you that. They should only give you motivational sounds and words when you win more than you bet!! The music should be fairly neutral.

You should have only music played in a way that is relative to the bet. Like if the return is 60% of the bet, the music should be a certain level

I don't think there should be music at all. I don't like it. When you win, the machine draws attention to you. It goes berserk and people look at you. Or you've won the minor. I think that the whole thing needs to be toned down overall. A win over $10 on one machine was so loud, it was ridiculous. Some have sound where you can turn down, but not all have this. I think that all machines should have this control. I asked the girls can I turn it down, but they said no, it's set like that. Most have 3 levels of noises, I would also like no noise at all. So there's a choice for no noise

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Server-based gaming and multi-game EGMs

Players generally had little experience with server based (downloadable) games and multi-game EGMs. It also appeared that such machines were generally not preferred by most players. Comments made during qualitative research suggested that some server-based and multi-game machines could be confusing for players, as electronic screen controls had to be touched to change games. Some EGM players also believed that denominations should not be changed on such games, as this could confuse players who otherwise expected to see a machine of a certain denomination.

Comments included:

I don’t really like those, I prefer just a single game. I don’t like the buttons on the screen on some of those games

I think it's good you can change the game but overall I think they are a bit dodgy. I think people wouldn't take as many breaks overall as they keep changing games and they can be a little confusing for people working out how to change the games

With server, it's the same priced machine, but just the pictures change. I don't think they should change the game amount. Changing the games is fine, but not the amount of the game (the denomination). People would go there and get confused and play the wrong amount. I think this would be harmful. It would mess with your head

I think that people get confused about when the amount of each games change. So you do get confused often. I don't think they should change the type (denomination) of each game in these as it would confuse people

Pre-commitment systems

Most players thought that pre-commitment would be a useful future characteristic of gaming machines.

Most players similarly supported voluntary use of pre-commitment to ensure that players are given the option of having improved control over their gaming. Comments included:

I have a voluntary pre-commitment limit, where I will put $20 in and get up and walk away. I think the whole notion of pre-commitment on machines is good. I don't like the beating of chests around mandatory pre-commitment, as that drifts over into an individual’s rights. An individual has the right to blow all their money, if they want to. But it makes sense to offer it to everyone playing machines. If pre-commitment existed, I'd use it

That sounds good. It would make me aware of how much I've spent, how long I've been there and what is going on. It would be especially good when you’ve had a few drinks, as it can be very hard to keep track at times

Having to gamble less when less than $1 in credit

A few EGM players reflected on the appropriateness of EGMs that prompted players to ‘gamble’ their winnings when they had less than $1 on the credit meter, as is the case of many EGMs in Queensland.

Such players believed that this was not appropriate as it could encourage players to continue to play when they would otherwise have preferred not to play on.

Comments included:

Being encouraged to gamble if less than $1 on the credit meter is not appropriate. It comes up, saying you can gamble that 2c or it goes somewhere else. I can see why they do it, but they shouldn't encourage people to gamble away their last 2c. It could start them off again

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If you have under 10 credits left, you can't bet under 10 credits. So they prompt you to gamble or just leave the credits in. You feel too embarrassed to ask for 10c so you don't bother. This is where cashless gaming is good. But I don't like the cards as you feel they can track you

When you get to 8c on these new machines and you can't bet this amount, you have to put more in.

It's a disgrace that. Then it says do you want to gamble it. That's not good. It encourages people to put more money in

They should enable people to place smaller bets or the machine should be set to allow people to play out or take out the whole amount. It doesn't even come out on the ticket (reference to

Ticket-in-Ticket-Out)

I don't think that they should prompt you to gamble up to a $1 to even out the amount. It’s wrong

Gambling on small cents shouldn't be allowed as it entices people to keep going, when they should be leaving. I think this is a risky way of getting rid of small amounts of money as the risk is that players may play on

If you collect under a $1 and it's got cents, it'll ask you - Do you want to double-up or take your loss.

But if a higher amount with cents like $60.52, I don't think it'll prompt you. I'm not sure if this is a good idea though as people may be tempted to play on, no matter how small the amount

The ability to transfer small cents back to a card was also described by one player as a key advantage of cashless gaming –

If you go to some clubs, some machines issue a ticket or card and others issue a coin. I like the card because you can take all the money easily whereas you can't take the last cents with regular gaming.

Difficulty locating ‘Collect’ buttons

Several EGM players reported difficulty locating the ‘Collect’ button on EGMs. This is the button players need to press to cash-out their money from an EGM. Collect buttons were often reported to be difficult for players to find as they were on the EGM screen and many players were not aware of this. In addition, some Collect buttons were part of other buttons and were thus more difficult to find. Standardisation of such buttons across machines was described as a useful strategy to avoid confusion in players.

Comments reflecting player experiences in finding the collect button on EGMs included:

Collect buttons are hard to find these days. Now they seem smaller in size. So sometimes I have had to try to physically find the collect button as I couldn’t see it

Collect buttons do need to be a standard button and a colour which stands out - maybe with a dollar sign - so people can find it. Little old ladies won't be able to find it. I always get people asking me to find them for them

They are pretty hard to find. Having it separate is safest. I think having it separate from Take Win would be best, so people can leave with money when they want to

I think it's hard to find the collect button. It's also hard to find the reserve button on occasions too. They don't seem to want you to pull your money. I think most people look for a button, but it's often on the screen. Most older people may not find it because it's on the screen

On some machines the collect buttons can be really hard to find

Sometimes Collect buttons are on the side of the screen or on the left hand side above the actual game. They are often a button up on the side of the machine. So it can be that these are hard to find

I can never find the Collect button. Plenty of older people ask me where it is. It's hard to see

PAGE 187 OF 213

There was similarly feedback from EGM players that double-function buttons generally could be confusing.

This included having Gamble and Half Gamble on the same button and having Reserve and Take Win on a dual function button. Such buttons needed to be pressed twice to activate the correct function. Having ticket-in-ticket-out systems associated with EGMs was also reported as creating some difficulties in one venue.

Example difficulties associated with dual buttons on EGMs included:

Take Win is a problem in the machines they put out now. On the new machines if you Take Win, you can't take the money out. You Take Win and press Collect and it won't do anything. It's due to the

Ticket out function. So if you hit Collect, you need to then hit Reserve to get the green button to get your money. This confuses people

The Reserve button is often hard to find. They are all different between machines. Some are with other buttons so it's confusing

Some are Take Win and Collect with two different functions for one button. This can be pretty confusing at times

I can't find the Reserve button at times. Sometimes it's on the screen. Other times it's a button. It confuses you

On Collect, you press the Collect button and you press Collect and nothing happens. You have to press it on the TITO box, rather than the screen. So people get confused

Older people think they are hitting the Reserve button. And actually they are hitting the Gamble button, so they lose their money. This happens quite a lot. A lot of people make these mistakes due to eye sight

Sometimes there is a Reserve and Gamble on the same button. That's a bit confusing at times. You don't want to press it cause you may gamble your money

Some of the older machines have Full Gamble and Half Gamble. You press it on the screen. If someone has not cancelled this by touching it, it'll automatically Half Gamble or Gamble your win.

Then when you don't realise it's on. You press your usual lines and you realise you've gambled your money away. So the Full Gamble and Half Gamble is on. That's so confusing. Before you've realised it's on, you've lost your money

On screen motivational messages

On-screen motivational messages, as presented to EGM players during a win, are a further standard characteristic of many Australian poker machines. When players were asked about the effect of such messages, it was clear that most players were aware that these messages occurred. However, feedback suggested that most players did not find the messages very stimulating or contributing to extended play.

Comments included:

I don’t really pay any attention to those messages. Some of them say 'Outstanding'. If you were playing higher bets you could get more, but it still says the same thing. So you tend to ignore messages as they don't seem that realistic

Those words like Well Done come up a bit. It seems the older ones mostly have those words. Less so the newer machines from what I've noticed. The new ones have more noises. I don't think those words have much effect for me. Words like Good Job or Well Done don’t make much of a difference. It gets quite annoying to see the words repeated all the time

PAGE 188 OF 213

You feel good for 1/2 a second but that's it. They really don’t have much an effect

I think it does lead some people to feel that they're controlling the machines, but it's a minor effect overall. I don't think removing the words would make a big difference overall

You see those words all the time. It says good luck all the time. Fantastic seems to be used a lot. But you're more watching the money than the words. So they're not much of an effect overall

I don't tend to notice those words. It usually says ‘Good Luck’. I also remember that occurs more on the older machines than on the newer ones. The old ones say ‘Wow’ and things like that – ‘Good work’ or

‘Sensational’. But less so the new ones. I don't notice the words so much

One of my friends got influenced by the words. She got real bad and started to play her rent money. I think the words encourage people to play on in some cases

EGM service buttons

Service buttons were mentioned by one EGM player as harmful as they encouraged consumption of alcohol at EGMs and did not encourage players to take a break in play -

I think the machine with 'service' buttons are harmful as it encourages people to stay put and not take breaks.

However, other players generally found service buttons as convenient and particularly when they felt they were ‘on a roll’ and did not want to leave an EGM.

PAGE 189 OF 213

KEY FINDINGS RELATING TO OTHER MISCELLANEOUS EGM CHARACTERISTICS

Key points in summary – Other miscellaneous EGM characteristics

Reserve buttons

Based on historical self-report data, the mean number of times players used the reserve button was approximately 1.5 times per gambling session and mostly for smoking, drink and food breaks

Non-problem gamblers used the button reserve fewer times per session (mean=1.0) than problem gamblers (mean=2.0)

Problem gamblers found breaks (mean=1.6) associated with use of the reserve button of significantly greater utility in helping regain control of play than non-problem gamblers (mean=1.2) (note 1=not at all, 4=significantly)

Confusion over EGM denominations

Players reported selecting a wrong denomination EGM due to poor denomination labelling from time to time – However, all at-risk gamblers reported doing this significantly more often (mean=1.9) than non-problem gamblers (mean=1.5)

Confusion is typically due to small fonts and involve $1 EGMs being read as 1 cent EGMs

Labelling of EGM banks was seen as a strategy to increase player understanding of denominations and to promote higher levels of informed consent about EGM denominations being played

Having EGMs of identical brands with different denominations was seen as somewhat confusing where games would change denominations across gambling venues (implying a need for clearer labelling)

Game information buttons/menus on EGMs

Overall, 49% of all gamblers indicated they had previously read information in EGM menu systems

Based on unprompted reasons for reading such information, very few EGM players read the information to check game rules (1.9%), odds of winning (1.4%) or to understand pay lines (0.9%)

(which is typically the main content of such screens)

The most common use of the screen related to using the information to check prizes/jackpots/pay outs (24.2%) and to familiarise with a new machine (14.4%)

EGM players found odds and game information in screens confusing and highlighted the need for improved and more consistent formatting of screens

Clearer information on how to win and odds associated with the following was seen as critical:

- Major jackpots

- Features

- Free spins

Providing game information before EGM play as a default was also suggested by some EGM players

Menu information suggesting the need to bet larger amounts to qualify for certain prizes was viewed as a harmful characteristic of some EGMs (e.g., you must bet all lines and extra choice to win features, you must play 243 lines to win certain prizes, increasing your bet increases your chance of winning)

PAGE 190 OF 213

EGM sound, music and light

Hearing sounds or seeing visual effects on EGM spins resulting in losses (including LDWs) was seen by

EGM players to ‘soften’ the experience of a loss

However, sounds and visual effects are also integral to player enjoyment of EGM games

Some EGM players believed that sound and visual effects for losses/LDWs/Bets only won should be standardised across EGMs and to different loss events, so that players are not urged to continue play upon hearing or seeing sounds/visual effects after a loss

While written motivational messages are used on some EGMs following wins, player feedback suggests that these have fairly minimal motivational effects on players

Server based and multigame EGMs

Server-based and multi-game machines are often confusing to EGM players, as electronic screen controls have to be touched to change games

Some players believed that denominations should not be changed on such games, as this would confuse players who otherwise expect to see a machine of a certain denomination

Pre-commitment systems

Most EGM players supported the availability of pre-commitment as a useful characteristic of future

EGMs (with only voluntary pre-commitment supported)

Having to gamble credits under $1

EGMs that encouraged players to gamble credits under $1 were seen as a potentially harmful characteristic of EGMs, as players felt that this may encourage continued play

Collect buttons

Several EGM players reported difficulty locating the Collect button on EGMs (to cash out) –

Standardisation and improved layout of such buttons was suggested to allow players to cash out when they want to

Single EGM buttons with dual functionalities were also seen as confusing and difficult to use

PAGE 191 OF 213

Comparison of the effects of major EGM characteristics examined in the study

Table 79 compares the excitement ratings of all EGM characteristics examined in the attitudinal survey. All measures have already been discussed in other sections of this report. Items that recorded a significant difference in mean scores for non-problem versus problem gamblers are highlighted in yellow. Data in this table are also ranked from most to least exciting for problem and non-problem gamblers.

As shown, features and free spins are associated with the highest levels of excitement for all segments of gamblers.

Getting a feature with a set of free spins and free spins within free spins are ranked as the top two items for both problem and non-problem gambling segment. Many of the least exciting items related to near miss events and

Losses Disguised as Wins.

Table 79. Ranked summary of excitement ratings for all EGM characteristics – Results by risk for problem gambling (N=222 - approximate, October 2013 - April 2014) (Refer to individual results for specific N)

EGM Characteristic

Getting free spins during free spins

Getting win multipliers during free spins -

(e.g. 2x, 10x, or 15x)

Getting a feature during a free spin

Getting a feature and also winning from the feature

Getting free spins and also winning from free spins

Getting a feature right after you have just won a big amount

Winning by getting 5 symbols in a row

Getting a free spin right after you have just won a big amount

Getting multiple free spins - that is many free spins at once (like 10 free spins)

Getting a linked jackpot feature during play

Getting a second feature during a feature

Getting a feature and multiple free spins

(like 10x at once)

Betting all lines on a poker machine

Winning when the machine allows you to use a wild or substitute symbols

Winning through a scatter

Non- problem

gamblers

4.6a

4.4a

4.7a

4.5a

4.5a

4.2a

4.5a

4.3a

4.4a

4.4a

4.3a

4.3a

3.9a

3.9a

Getting a free spin during a feature

Getting a feature during pokies play

4.2a

4.1a

4.2a

Mean (1=not at all, 5=very exciting)

Low risk

gamblers

4.8a

Moderate risk

gamblers

4.8a

Problem

gamblers

4.8a

All

gamblers

4.8

4.8b 4.6a,b 4.8b 4.7

4.7a

4.8b

4.6a

4.6a

4.7a

4.7a,b

4.7

4.7

4.9b

4.7b

4.7a

4.7b

4.8b

4.4a

4.7b

4.7b

4.5b

4.3a,b

4.2a

4.4a

4.4a

4.7a,b

4.5b

4.5a

4.5a,b

4.4a

4.6a

4.6a,b

4.5a,b

4.3a,b

4.0a

4.0a

4.2a

4.2a

4.7a,b

4.7b

4.6a

4.6a,b

4.5a,b

4.5a

4.5a,b

4.5a,b

4.5b

4.4b

4.3a

4.3a

4.2a

4.7

4.5

4.6

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.6

4.5

4.3

4.1

4.1

4.3

4.2

Rank Order

PGs NPGs

1

1

2

2

2

2

4

4

4

4

4

5

6

6

7

3

3

1

3

2

4

4

4

5

5

9

9

6

7

6

3

6

3

5

PAGE 192 OF 213

EGM Characteristic

Winning after the symbols lined up from left to right in the right order

Features that give you the chance to win a linked jackpot

Playing a pokies game where wins are multiplied - like 2x, 4x or 10x etc.

Win an amount which is double your bet

Features where you to pick different options (e.g. 10 spins x 5 or 15 spins x 3)

Getting an opportunity to replay a feature

Features which play for a long period of time

Winning by getting 4 symbols in a row

Playing on a machine with 50 lines

Playing on a machine with 20 lines

Betting five credits per line or more

The size of the jackpots or maximum prize on the machines

Features where you just watch and you don’t have to do anything

Features with funny characters that make you laugh

Features that involve you role playing a certain character

Playing on a machine with 243 lines

Features which give you the feeling of playing a game of skill or can control the game outcome

Winning by getting 3 symbols in a row

Features which play for a short period of time

There are 4 winning symbols and you miss the fifth

Win an amount which is the same as your bet

Features where you play another game that looks like another form of gambling

Betting two credits per line

Getting a single free spin

Playing double up games which ask you to pick 1 of 2 cards, so if you win, you double the amount (player to assume it is used)

MaxBet button - that is, maximum bet buttons that you can press without having to press the highest credit button

Non- problem

gamblers

4.1a

3.7a

3.9a

3.9a,b

3.7a

4.0a

3.4a

3.8a

2.7a

3.3a

2.8a

3.4a

2.9a

2.5a

2.4a

2.2a

2.3a

3.2a

2.9a

3.0a

2.6a

2.4a

2.1a

2.7a

2.2a,b

2.0a

Low risk

gamblers

4.1a

Moderate risk

gamblers

4.1a

3.9a

4.2a

4.2a

3.9a

3.9a

3.6a

3.8a

3.1a

3.8a

2.8a

3.7a

3.5b

2.7a

2.9a,b

2.7a,b

2.5a

3.1a

2.7a

2.4b

3.1b

2.3a

2.8b

2.7a

1.9a

1.9a

3.9a

3.9a

3.8b

4.0a

3.8a

3.6a

3.6a

3.0a

3.5a

3.1a,b

3.8a

3.2a,b

2.8a

3.0b

2.7a,b

2.9b

3.0a

2.7a

2.5a,b

2.9a,b

2.4a

2.9b

2.5a

2.3a,b

2.1a

Problem

gamblers

All

gamblers

4.2a

4.2a

4.1a

4.0a,b

4.0a

3.8a

3.8a

3.7a

3.7b

3.6a

3.6b

3.5a

3.4a,b

3.4b

3.4b,c

3.2b

3.0b

2.9a

2.9a

2.8a,b

2.8a,b

2.8a

2.8b

2.7a

2.7b

2.7b

4.1

3.9

3.3

2.8

2.9

2.7

2.7

3

2.8

2.6

2.9

2.4

2.7

2.7

2.2

2.1

4

4

3.9

3.9

3.6

3.7

3.1

3.6

3

3.6

PGs NPGs

7

14

14

14

15

16

17

17

18

18

18

18

19

19

19

7

16

20

21

23

22

14

16

15

19

21

24

18

23

25

7

8

9

9

10

10

11

11

12

12

13

11

9

9

11

8

12

10

18

13

17

12

PAGE 193 OF 213

EGM Characteristic

Doubling up during pokies play (player to assume it is used)

Playing double up games which ask you to pick 1 of 4 cards, so you win 4x the amount if you win (player to assume it is used)

There are 3 winning symbols and you miss the fourth

Betting one credit only per line

Win an amount which is 3/4 of your bet

You see 2 winning symbols and you just missed the third

A winning symbol just nudges above or below the pay line, but misses the pay line

You see symbols which you thought should be winning symbols but they didn't produce a win

Using the half-gamble button - where you gamble half your winnings

The whole pokies screen has a large number of symbols and looks like a win

(but it didn't align to the payline so wasn't a win)

Win an amount which is 1/2 your bet

Betting one line on a poker machine

Non- problem

gamblers

2.2a,b

2.2a

2.3a

2.6a

2.0a

1.9a,b

2.0a

1.8a

1.7a,b

1.7a

1.6a

1.3a

Low risk

gamblers

1.9a

2.1a

2.0a

2.8a

2.2a

1.6a

1.8a

1.5a

1.3a

1.6a

Moderate risk

gamblers

2.4b

2.3a

2.3a

2.4a

2.2a

1.8a,b

1.7a

1.7a

1.9b

1.6a

Problem

gamblers

2.6b,c

2.6a

2.4a

2.2a

2.2a

2.1b

2.0a

1.7a

1.7a,b

1.7a

All

gamblers

2.3

2.3

2.2

2.5

2.2

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.7

1.6

PGs NPGs

20

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

26

26

1.7a

1.2a

1.8a

1.3a

1.6a

1.3a

1.7

1.3

27

28

Win an amount which is 1/4 of your bet 1.3a 1.4a 1.3a 1.3a 1.3 28

Win nothing at all during a poker machine spin

1.1a 1.1a 1.0a 1.0a 1 29

Question: Using a scale where 1=not at all and 5=very exciting, please rate the extent to which the following are exciting (Base: All gamblers)

23

23

22

19

25

26

25

27

28

28

29

30

30

31

PAGE 194 OF 213

5

4.9

4.8

4.6

4.6

4.6

4.6

4.8

4.7

4.6

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.7

4.6

4.7

4.6

4.5

4.8

4.5

4.6

4.5

4.7

4.6

4.5

4.7

4.4

4.2

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.3

4.3

4.3

4.4

4.3

4.3

4.4

4.3

4.2

4.1

4.4

4.2

4.2

4.2

4.1

4.2

4

3.9

4

3.9

4 4

3.9

3.8

3.9

4

3.9

3.8

3.8

3.7

3.7

3.6

3.4

3.4

Free spins during free spins

Win multipliers during free spins

Feature during a free spin

Feature and winning from feature

Free spins and winning from free spins

Getting a feature right after winning big amount

Winning by 5 symbols in a row

Getting a free spin right after winning a big amount

Multiple free spins

Linked jackpot feature during play

Getting a second feature during a feature

Getting a feature and multiple free spins

Betting all lines

Winning when

EGM allows wild/ substitute symbols

Winning through a scatter

Free spin during a feature

Feature during pokies play

Winning - left to right

Linked jackpot features

Playing

EGMs where wins are multiplied

Winning double your bet

Features where you get to pick options

Replaying a feature

Features which play for a long time

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

Figure 3. Excitement of various structural characteristics of EGMs – Characteristics receiving the highest overall excitement ratings (1=not at all exciting, 5=very exciting) (Top 24)

PAGE 195 OF 213

2.4

2.2

2

3.2

3

2.8

2.6

4

3.8

3.6

3.4

3.7

3.6

3.7

3.1

3

2.7

3.8

3.6

3.5

3.3

3.6

3.1

Winning by getting 4 symbols in a row

Playing on a machine with

50 lines

Playing on a machine with

20 lines

Betting five credits per line or more

3.8

3.7

3.5

3.4

Size of the jackpots/ maximum prize

3.5

3.4

3.2

2.9

3.4

2.8

2.7

2.5

3.4

3

2.9

2.4

3.2

2.2

3

2.9

2.5

2.3

3.2

3.1

3

2.9

3

2.8

2.5

2.4

3.1

2.9

2.8

2.6

Features where you just watch

(don’t do anything)

Features with funny characters

Features involving role playing

Playing on a machine with

243 lines

Features which give feeling of game of skill or can control outcome

Winning by 3 symbols in a row

Features which play for a short time

4 winning symbols and miss the fifth

Win an amount same as your bet

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

Figure 4. Excitement of various structural characteristics of EGMs (1=not at all exciting, 5=very exciting) - 14 next most exciting EGM structural characteristics

PAGE 196 OF 213

3

2.9

2.8

2.7

2.8

2.7

2.7

2.6

2.6

2.6

2.5

2

2.4

2.4

2.3

2.1

2.5

2.3

2.2

1.9

2.1

1.9

2

2.4

2.2

1.9

2.3

2.3

2.2

2.4

2.3

2.1

2

2.4

2.2

2.2

2

2.1

1.9

1.8

1.6

2 2

1.9

1.5

1.8

1.7

1.7

1.8

1.7

1.5

1.6

1.7

1.7

1.6

1.8

1.7

1.6

1.6

1.3

1

Features involving another gambling game

Betting two credits per line

Getting a single free spin

Playing double up games (1 of 2 cards)

MaxBet button

Doubling up during pokies play - generally

Playing double up games (1 of 4 cards)

3 winning symbols and miss the fourth

Betting one credit only per line

Win 3/4 of your bet

2 winning symbols and missed third

Winning symbol nudges above or below pay line

Seeing symbols looking like winning symbols but didn't win

Using the halfgamble button

Whole

EGM screen has many symbols - looks like a win (but didn't)

Win 1/2 your bet

1.3

1.2

1.3

1.4

1.3

1.3

1.1

1.1

1 1

Betting one line

Win 1/4 of your bet

Win nothing

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

Figure 5. Excitement of various structural characteristics of EGMs (1=not at all exciting, 5=very exciting) - 18 least exciting EGM structural characteristics

PAGE 197 OF 213

Comparison of the frequency of different

EGM player cognitions experienced during EGM play

Table 80 summarises gambler’s responses to questions about how frequently they think about various EGM events during general play. These are presented for each risk status group and ranked, in descending order, for problem and non-problem gamblers. Measures that recorded a significant difference (p<.05) in mean scores for non-problem versus problem gamblers are shaded.

As per the rankings both problem gamblers and non-problem gamblers think most often about the need to play all lines to avoid missing a win, and that a free spin must be coming soon. Despite these thoughts occurring most frequently for all gamblers, there was a significant difference between the mean scores for problem gamblers as compared to non-problem gamblers on each of these measures (p<.05). This was the case, however, for all thoughts presented to gamblers in this study except for thoughts about progressive jackpots.

Items closely associated with persistence also ranked more highly on frequency of thought for problem versus non-problem gamblers - E.g., if I sit here a bit longer I will win my money back (PG=4, NPG=10), near misses lead you to continue pokies play as you feel a win must be getting close (PG=3, NPG=6). As each item tends to relate to the likelihood of a win event, sometimes accompanied by a specific action such as increasing bets or playing all lines, it can be said that problem gamblers are more likely to think that a win is near and, as a consequence, engage in more persistent play. This may suggest that cognitions of problem gamblers are one of the most significant factors that contribute to such gamblers experiencing problems with EGMs.

Frequency of thoughts during

I have to play all lines to avoid missing out on wins

Table 80. Ranked summary of frequency of thought ratings – Results by risk for problem gambling

(N=222 - approximate, October 2013 - April 2014) (Refer to individual results for specific N)

EGM play

The free spin must be coming soon

Non- problem gamblers

3.7a

3.3a

Mean (1=not at all, 5=very often)

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

4.2a,b 3.9a,b 4.3b

3.2a 3.5a 4.1b

All gamblers

4.0

3.5

Rank Order

PGs NPGs

1

2

1

2

The feature must be coming soon 3.1a 3.2a 3.4a 4.1b 3.4 2 4

How much does seeing these near misses lead you to continue pokies play as you feel that a win is getting close

I keep seeing all the win symbols coming up, but they are in the wrong location - so a win must be getting close

You nearly won when winning symbols nudge just above or below the payline

If I just sit here a bit longer, I'll win my money back

Progressive jackpots which you think are close to going off

A jackpot must be about to go off at any point

2.6a

2.1a

3.0a

1.9a

3.2a

2.5a

2.8a,b

2.6a,b

3.2a,b

2.3a

3.3a

2.5a

3.2b

2.9b

3.1a

2.9b

3.4a

2.9a,b

3.7c

3.7c

3.7b

3.6c

3.4a

3.3b

3.1

2.8

3.2

2.7

3.3

2.8

3

3

3

4

5

6

6

9

5

10

3

7

I have to bet big to win large amounts when I win

As I'm winning just under my bet, a big win must be getting close

2.2a,b

2.2a

2.0a

2.5a,b

2.5b

2.7b,c

3.2c

3.2c

2.5

2.6

7

7

8

8

I will confuse the machine by betting in different patterns

1.6a 2.2b 2.6c 2.8c 2.3 8 11

Using a scale where 1=not at all and 5=very often, when you are playing pokies, how much do each of the following occupy your mind and thoughts?

(Base: All gamblers)

PAGE 198 OF 213

3.5

3

2.5

2

1.5

5

4.5

4

4.3

4.2

3.9

3.7

4.1

3.5

3.3

3.2

4.1

3.4

3.2

3.1

3.7

3.2

2.8

2.6

3.7

2.9

2.6

2.1

3.7

3.2

3.1

3

3.6

2.9

2.3

1.9

3.3

3.2

3.3

2.9

3.2

2.5

2.2

2

3.2

2.7

2.5

2.2

2.8

2.6

2.2

1.6

1

I have to play all lines to avoid missing out on wins

The free spin must be coming soon

The feature must be coming soon

How much does seeing these near misses lead you to continue pokies play as you feel that a win is getting close

I keep seeing all the win symbols coming up, but they are in the wrong location

- so a win must be getting close

You nearly won when winning symbols nudge just above or below the payline

If I just sit here a bit longer, I'll win my money back

Progressive jackpots which you think are close to going off

A jackpot must be about to go off at any point

I have to bet big to win large amounts when

I win

As I'm winning just under my bet, a big win must be getting close

I will confuse the machine by betting in different patterns

Non-problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers

Moderate risk gamblers

Problem gamblers

Figure 6. EGM player cognitions – The frequency with which cognitions occur during EGM play (1=not at all often, 5=very often)

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