Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 331–342 | Cite as

A Comparison of Ambient Casino Sound and Music: Effects on Dissociation and on Perceptions of Elapsed Time While Playing Slot Machines

  • Theodore J. Noseworthy
  • Karen Finlay
Original Paper


This research examined the effects of a casino’s auditory character on estimates of elapsed time while gambling. More specifically, this study varied whether the sound heard while gambling was ambient casino sound alone or ambient casino sound accompanied by music. The tempo and volume of both the music and ambient sound were varied to manipulate temporal engagement and introspection. One hundred and sixty (males = 91) individuals played slot machines in groups of 5–8, after which they provided estimates of elapsed time. The findings showed that the typical ambient casino auditive environment, which characterizes the majority of gaming venues, promotes understated estimates of elapsed duration of play. In contrast, when music is introduced into the ambient casino environment, it appears to provide a cue of interval from which players can more accurately reconstruct elapsed duration of play. This is particularly the case when the tempo of the music is slow and the volume is high. Moreover, the confidence with which time estimates are held (as reflected by latency of response) is higher in an auditive environment with music than in an environment that is comprised of ambient casino sounds alone. Implications for casino management are discussed.


Gambling Slot machines Ambient casino sound Time perception Dissociation Music 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Richard Ivey School of BusinessUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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