Don’t Let Casino Trickery Turn You Into an Irresponsible Player

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.

So, how do 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!”

Big Win – Everytime?

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?

Caveman Keno

Doesn’t the responsibility on which games to gamble on 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 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.

Remember – Of all things, if you can’t control your gambling, seek help.  

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Recreational Gambling Requires Responsible Gambling

Losing at Gambling?

Be aware of your Gambling

Once each year, I pause the gambling news and hype to be sure we look at the seriousness of problem gambling. March is Problem Gambling Awareness month.  It comes at a perfect time in New England in 2019 when the expansion of gambling continues at a feverish pitch. The addition of legal sports betting in Rhode Island, and probably other states in our region by the end of the year, brings more concern to those who might battle gambling additions. ,

MARCH IS PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS MONTH!

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is a grassroots campaign that depends on the participation of NCPG state Affiliate, organizational and individual members, state health agencies, gambling companies, recovery groups and a wide range of healthcare organizations and providers.

Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.  As March Madness reaches a crescendo with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30% during the month

In 2017, according to an info-graphic released by the NCPG, problem gambling accounted for $7 billion in the US annually due to addiction, bankruptcy, and crime. Of the estimated five million Americans who already meet the criteria for gambling addiction, three in four have problems with alcohol, 38 percent use or have used illegal drugs, and 20 percent have attempted or committed suicide.

Changing Tide

According to the American Gambling Association, new research released shows that “with American acceptance of gaming at an all-time high, casino gamblers are actively practicing responsible gaming….. Bettors report setting budgets, sticking to them and being aware of available responsible gaming resources at significantly high rates.”

According to the research:

  • 9 in 10 casual bettors set a budget before they visit a casino;
  • 90 percent of those visitors report success in tracking their spending; and
  • 8 in 10 casual casino visitors and 9 in 10 avid casino visitors are aware of responsible gaming resources.

Massachusetts leads the charge

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) implemented many initiatives to curb problem gambling in Massachusetts Casinos, including:

  • PREVENTION:  This month SEIGMA researchers will release evidence-based guidelines designed to help Massachusetts residents make informed decisions about gambling behavior. The upcoming report Low-Risk Gambling Guidelines for Massachusetts defines the point at which level of gambling engagement (i.e. frequency and expenditure) increases risk.RESEARCH: This month the MGC will select organizations to conduct Community-Driven Research. The research objective is to provide communities with the opportunity to define the issue or question relating to the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts. This initiative puts the community first and emphasizes collaboration between researchers.EDUCATION: MGC continues to generate awareness about its popular, responsible gaming program GameSense and is working closely with GameSense Advisors at Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield to host a series of activities for casino employees. As the eyes and ears of the casino, employees play a key role in identifying persons who may be struggling with gambling. Educating casino staff about available programs and resources has increased benefit because research identifies gaming employees as being at a greater risk of developing a gambling problem.COMMUNICATION: Throughout the month, MGC will implement a digital campaign across its multiple social media channels to promote awareness and educate the public about MGC’s voluntary self-exclusion program and the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling helpline.

    COLLABORATION: Plainridge Park Casino employees will wear GameSense-branded PGAM buttons throughout the month. MGM Springfield produced a “Fact or Myth” video featuring a GameSense Advisor and the educational video will be shown to employees at multiple MGM properties.

    SUPPORT: MGC supports the Cambridge Health Alliance’s ‘Gambling Disorder Screening Day’ taking place on March 12, 2019. On the same day, GameSense Advisors will offer problem gambling screening at Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield.

Gamesense 2Kudos to MGM International for implementing GameSense at its resorts in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the country, not just in Springfield where it is required.

Gambling Companies Also Looking to Help

Everi, IGT, and Aristocrat are only a few of the gambling industry giants working with the AGA create responsible gambling. Check out these articles from the AGA’s website:

Everi Provides Tools To Help Customers Play Responsibly

IGT Helps Operators Protect Players and Keep Gaming Fun

Aristocrat: Using Technology To Support Responsible Gaming

Every casino in New England has some form of help, from self-exclusion programs, live chat link on websites for immediate help, or state hotlines like Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. For more information on problem gambling, go to the National Council on Problem Gambling website.  Help each other if your friends, family or children seem to be spending money they don’t have.  If you have questions or concerns about your own gambling, take the 20 Question Check at Gambler’s Anonymous.  Wouldn’t it be great to not have to worry?

Binbin – Embrace the Awareness of Responsible Gambling

 

Responsible Gambling Tips from NETG’s “Gambling Cats”

Cats Playing Blackjack

Cats Playing Poker

Just about everyone tries gambling of one form in their lives.  Some involve money, others may gamble at running a red light.  Each has its own degree of risk and consequences.

There are professional gamblers who have been able to gamble for a living and not fall into the dark side of addiction.  These Advantage Players, or AP’s, know the importance of knowing how they react to the rush of winning and the down side of losing.

Cat Advantage Player

Cat Advantage Player

But professionals also detach a lot of the emotion – it’s a business – which helps keep those fiery endorphins more stable.  Most humans can gamble, whether money based or consequence based (or both) without concerns, but some have trouble when any gamble turns into habit – especially casino gamblers.

With the help of the “NETG Gambling Cats.” this post includes simple tips and a few items to help responsible gambling.  While many have a fun, exciting gambling experience without them, these tips and forms may be something to consider.  As far as the cats know, they are the “purr-fect” answer to responsible gambling.

Take a look at the following tips; they’ll help you to learn more about how you can enjoy gambling without putting yourself at risk for problem gambling.

  • Have the right attitude – gamble for fun and entertainment.  Cat playing pokerIf you are considering playing poker, video poker, blackjack (probably the only casino games you could make a living in), be well-practiced, well-funded, and strategically perfect – that’s all!  Otherwise, keep it as a leisurely activity.
  • Set a limit on how much money and time you can afford to spend gambling. Try not to change this limit while you play.  If so, it must the next bankroll negatively or put off your next gambling trip.
  • Leave any extra cash at home, and think twice about taking your bank and credit cards with you. When you run out of money, don’t borrow from family, friends or others so you can keep gambling.Credit card Cat
  • Don’t gamble for comps.  Gambling for comps is a rabbit hole that will swallow up extra money you didn’t expect to spend.  Comps will accumulate.  Check rewards clubs for the best deals, and compare to the best games, or an experience you prefer.  Then, just let it happen.
  • Plan for sessions by bankroll increments, not by time. Have a clear plan on what you will do if you spend all that money sooner than expected.  Eat, walk, people watch?  Something to lengthen the time between sessions.  Or, there’s another option – go home.
  • Know how much it costs to play per hour on the games you enjoy.  cat at pokerWhile you win sometimes, you also lose, so it is important to know the average cost per hour. Click HERE for your free chance to calculate your own cost of play, provided by the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba.
  • What is your reason for gambling?  Don’t know? You should.  Be aware of your own reasons for gambling. Remember that, while gambling can be fun, it is not a way to solve problems, get away angry, or spend time depressed.  Have fun, enjoy time with friends and family.  Make it something you would do again with no consequence.
  • Balance gambling with other leisure activities.Gambling shouldn’t be the only activity you do in your spare time.  Other activities can blur into other casino events, such as culinary interest, music performance, and sports.Cat playing soccer
  • Finally, if you gamble on a regular basis, keep track of the money you spend. Most people would never think to keep track.  It’s no fun to track your gambling, and lets face it, most of us are just TOO lazy.  Statistics don’t lie. Print out the NETG Gambling Log 3 to keep track – it will help you to keep a realistic record of your gambling expenses.

Please note: The above log is not to be used if you claim gambling losses for your taxes.  A much more specific log of your gambling is needed.  

We hope this helps.

Binbin