Researchers in Australia say they have the solution to prevent gamblers from spending too much money on slot machines.
Experts have managed to create a software that stops gamblers from playing too much by setting a “jackpot expiry” time. This makes a message appear on the slot machine’s screen, telling users they can’t play for the jackpot anymore.
According to Australian gambling news, the program was tested at Central Queensland University, where 130 volunteers were given $20 to try the program. Each of them played for a $500 jackpot on a game programmed to give small early wins, followed by losses.
“After the expiry message appeared, people started gambling slower and they ended up quitting earlier, meaning that they walked away with more money,” Matthew Rockloff explained. He is the lead author of the study, a psychologist and gambling researcher.
Safer gambling products
The research found that long gambling sessions can be addictive, but setting a jackpot expiry time helps people control compulsive playing and stop before they end up spending too much money. Rockloff believes the product might spark the interest of gambling companies who want to provide a safer product.
“For a responsible gambling service provider, having these kinds of measures will likely make the industry be more sustainable in the long term because… if you create a safe product more people will want to participate,” the expert told ABC.
With Australian gambling laws allowing most forms of gambling, locals are big fans of casino games. However, records from the Australian Medical Association show 2.5% of Australians have a moderate to severe gambling problem.