Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 775–790 | Cite as

The Impact of Jackpots on EGM Gambling Behavior: A Review

  • Matthew J. Rockloff
  • Nerilee Hing
Review Paper


This paper reviews literature on how jackpots influence Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) gambling behaviour. Most of the available evidence addresses the motivational effect of the mere presence of EGM jackpots on play, as actual wins are relatively rare for individual gamblers. The review identifies a distinction between rational, biased and irrational motivations that attract people to EGM jackpots. The evidence suggests that EGM jackpots should generate additional consumption on EGMs above machines that do not have such lottery-like features. Rational motivations are likely to lead to consumer surplus, whereas biased and irrational motivations are likely to contribute to excessive consumption. Moreover, there is evidence that excessive gambling consumption is strongly associated with gambling-related harm. Future research should identify how the structural features of different types of jackpots; such as progressive, deterministic, hidden, mystery, linked and wide-area jackpots; may differentially appeal to rational, biased and irrational gambling motivations. Jackpots are common feature of EGM games, and therefore it is important to have a better understanding of how jackpot features influence play on the machines.


Jackpot EGM Poker Slot Big win VLT 



This review was funded by a Grant from Gambling Research Australia.

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest are declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Health and Social Science ResearchCentral Queensland UniversityBundabergAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Gambling Education and ResearchSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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