A Typology of UK Slot Machine Gamblers: A Longitudinal Observational and Interview Study

  • Mark D. Griffiths


Slot machine gambling is a popular leisure activity worldwide yet there has been very little research into different types of slot machine gamblers. Earlier typologies of slot machine gamblers have only concentrated on adolescents in arcade environments. This study presents a new typology of slot machine players based on over 1000 h of participant and non-participant observation, and informal interviews with slot machine players in a range of UK gambling environments. Three key behavioural variables were systematically and consistently observed during the field research. These were (a) ability (i.e., how proficient the person was at gambling on a slot machine), (b) control (i.e., how controlled the person was in their playing of slot machines), and (c) time spent gambling (i.e., frequency of visits and duration gambling session). These three behavioural variables were then used to develop a new typology of slot machine gamblers. Overall six types of UK slot gambler were observed based on the three behavioural variables. These were: The Dedicated Professional, The Dedicated Impulsivist, The Dedicated Amateur, The Part-time Professional, The Part-time Impulsivist and The Casual Amateur. The implications for problem gambling and treatment of these different sub-types are also assessed.


Gambling Problem gambling Non-participant observation Slot machines Typology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Division, Department of Social SciencesNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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