Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 32, Issue 3–4, pp 141–147 | Cite as

Physiological Effects of Slot Play in Women

  • Carolyn Yucha
  • Bo Bernhard
  • Catherine Prato


The purpose of this study is to describe the physiological responses occurring during slot gambling in 23 females with problematic and non-problematic gambling backgrounds in two sites: at a casino using their own money and at a casino laboratory without wagering money. Using the National Opinion Research Center Diagnostic Screen (NODS), 12 women were not-at-risk gamblers and 11 were at-risk, problem, or pathological gamblers. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), skin conductance (SC), and skin temperature (ST) were measured for 5 min before gambling (baseline), 10 min while gambling, and 5 min after gambling (recovery). In the casino, SBP (p = .001), DBP (p = .031), HR (p = .030), and RR (p = 004) rose during gambling and fell during recovery; ST rose throughout the study (p = .006). There were no differences between subjects based on NODS score. A total of 12 subjects were also studied in the laboratory. SBP (p = .004), DBP (p = .000); HR (p = .023); RR (p = .000) and SC (p = .002) rose during gambling and fell during recovery; ST rose throughout the study (p = .006). There were no significant differences by location. The observed effects suggest that females find slot play physiologically arousing, with or without financial stakes, because physiological changes were consistent with an arousal response.


Gambling Physiological responses Female gamblers Casino 



We wish to thank Greg and Cliff Lee for their devotion to this project. This study was funded by a grant from the UNLV School of Nursing Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Sociology and Hotel Management, Director of Gambling Research, International Gaming InstituteUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA

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