Oh, those who think that casinos should run their business and still let everyone win – and still pay the bills! Human beings are becoming so entitled. If you ask casino patrons on a bad streak, they will say the casino is up to something – they aren’t winning – and it’s the casino’s fault.
Listen, casino gambling is a recreational activity, with the vast majority of games offered having a skewed advantage to the house – we all know it, we just sit at that slot machine, riding that trip down the river of denial.
An article by Dr. Harrigan, the lead researcher and contact person for the University of Waterloo Problem Gambling Research Team. His primary research interest is in gambling addictions with a focus on why so many slot machine gamblers become addicted. In his article, he deals with many factors that the “Casino Industry” is basically trying to make addicts out of all of us – real, concerning, and a serious topic for potentially addictive gamblers. His article was published by the Repeal the Vote lobby before the Massachusetts vote – you can judge the “why,” I’ll just stick with the facts.
So, how do, or can, casinos entice the individual gambler into gambling more? One way, to reference Dr. Harrigan’s article, is that the casino is not truthful about how much the slot machine pays. I’ve got news for you – hold on to your hat – that’s why it’s called “gambling!”
Dr. Harrigan’s article says “…..on modern slot machines, half of ‘wins’ are actually net losses. An example would be a $1 bet with a 30¢ payoff. This is a loss of 70¢, but the machine shows bright graphics and makes sounds announcing a win. Researchers call these events Losses Disguised as Wins (LDWs) and have clearly shown that players experience these as actual wins, giving the players the (incorrect) positive feelings that they are winning.”
No kidding. The invention of video slots gave the impression of lots of small hits instead of waiting longer for bigger hits in reels. Bonuses also play in this game – individual hits can be small more often due to the chance and volatility of hitting a bigger bonus. We all wait to hit THE BIG ONE! Lotteries, the worst odds of all, wouldn’t be so popular – but we want the chance to hit the BIG ONE! In the longer run, the real problem is that the payout percentage continues to be lower throughout the country. Why? Because as a culture, we still intend on being constantly entertained, so it doesn’t matter to most players. We know the games pay less – but we like the fun, so we play them anyway. Why would so many people settle for 6/5 blackjack? or 6/5 JOB Video poker? Or Keno?
Doesn’t the responsibility to gamble choices also rest on the shoulders of the gambler? YES
Shouldn’t gamblers that play often be responsible enough to KNOW the best games, best strategies, and the pitfalls of high casino-advantage games? YES
So, be aware of the “tricks” (or maybe they are just good business practice) and take responsibility for your gaming. If it’s not fun anymore, contact GA, tell the casino to not allow your entrance (which casinos do to help addicted gamblers any time you feel you can’t control staying away) and seek help.
It’s not a black and white situation. It is neither solely the casino’s fault or the addict’s – it’s a gray area, more complex than any single blog could summarize.
So, be careful, be smart, be knowledgeable, and go to the casino with a money management plan, and a plan for your visit – every single time. This way you limit the “trickery” of those casinos, and also help to either leave with money, or at least lengthen your bankroll’s life.
That’s all for now.