Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 469–486 | Cite as

Animation-Based Education as a Gambling Prevention Tool: Correcting Erroneous Cognitions and Reducing the Frequency of Exceeding Limits Among Slots Players

  • Michael J. A. Wohl
  • Kelly-Lyn Christie
  • Kimberly Matheson
  • Hymie Anisman
Original Paper


In light of the financial harm that often accompanies problem gambling, and the difficulty in resolving it, there is a pressing need for prevention resources. In the present study, we examined the preventive effects of an animation-based video that educated participants on how slot machines function, the prudence of setting financial limits, and strategies to avoid problems. Non-problem gamblers (N = 242) at a slots venue were randomly assigned to watch either an animation or a control video. Compared to participants who watched the control video, those who watched the animation endorsed strategies to gamble within financial limits, reported greater behavioral intentions to use the strategies, and exceeded their pre-set limits less frequently during their subsequent gambling session. Some effects waned over a 30-day period suggesting booster sessions may be required for long term sustainability. The effectiveness of animation-based education as a prevention tool and the need for adjunctive measures is discussed.


Prevention Gambling Animation Exceeding limits Erroneous cognitions Slot machines 



This research was supported by a research grant from the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre (#2345) to Wohl, Anisman, and Matheson. We thank Rob Simpson for his contribution to all aspects of this research, including the creation of the animation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. A. Wohl
    • 1
  • Kelly-Lyn Christie
    • 1
  • Kimberly Matheson
    • 1
  • Hymie Anisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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