Advertisement

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

  • Mark D. Griffiths
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Gambling Problem gambling Non-participant observation Slot machines Typology 

References

  1. Agar, M. (1973). Ripping and running. New York: Seminar.Google Scholar
  2. Amsel, A. (1958). The role of frustrative non reward in non continuous reward situations. Psychological Bulletin, 55, 102–119.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Belk, R. W., Sherry, J. F., Jr., & Wallendorf, M. (1988). A naturalistic inquiry into buyer and seller behaviour at swap meet. Journal of Consumer Research, 14(4), 449–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennis, W. (2004). Blackjack playing strategies and beliefs: a view from the field. The Electronic Journal of Gambling Issues, 10.Google Scholar
  5. Blaszczynski, A., & Nower, L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction, 97, 487–499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Browne, B. R. (1989). Going on tilt: frequent poker players and control. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 5, 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Celsi, R., Rose, R., & Leigh, T. (1993). An exploration of high risk leisure consumption through sky diving. Journal of Consumer Research, 20(1), 1–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cotte, J. (1997). Chances, trances, and lots of slots: gambling motives and consumption experiences. Journal of Leisure Research, 29, 380–406.Google Scholar
  9. Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. L. (Eds.). (1992). Doing qualitative research. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. DeWalt, K. M., & DeWalt, B. R. (2002). Participant observation: A guide for fieldworkers. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fisher, S. (1993). The pull of the fruit machine: a sociological typology of young players. The Sociological Review, 41, 446–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Griffiths, M. D. (1991). The observational study of adolescent gambling in UK amusement arcades. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 1, 309–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Griffiths, M. D. (1993). Pathological gambling: possible treatment using an audio playback technique. Journal of Gambling Studies, 9, 295–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Griffiths, M. D. (1994). The role of cognitive bias and skill in fruit machine gambling. British Journal of Psychology, 85, 351–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Griffiths, M. D. (2008). Impact of high stake, high prize gaming machines on problem gaming. Birmingham: Gambling Commission.Google Scholar
  16. Griffiths, M. D., Wood, R. T. A., Parke, J., & Parke, A. (2006). Dissociative states in problem gambling. In C. Allcock (Ed.), Current issues related to dissociation (pp. 27–37). Melbourne: Australian Gaming Council.Google Scholar
  17. Hayano, D. M. (1978). Strategies for the management of luck and action in an urban poker parlour. Urban Life and Culture, 6, 475–489.Google Scholar
  18. Hayano, D. M. (1982). Poker faces: The life and work of professional card players. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hayano, D. M. (1984). The professional gambler: fame, fortune and failure. The Annals of the American Academy, 474, 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holt, D. B. (1995). How consumers consume: a typology of common practises. Journal of Consumer Research, 9, 132–140.Google Scholar
  21. Jorgensen, D. L. (1989). Participant observation: Methodology for human studies. Newbury: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1982). The simulation heuristic. In D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, & A. Tversky (Eds.), Judgement under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases (pp. 201–208). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Meyer, G., Hayer, T., & Griffiths, M. D. (2009). Problem gaming in Europe: Challenges, prevention, and interventions. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Moran, E. (1970). Varieties of pathological gambling. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 116, 593–597.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Neal, M. (1998). You lucky punters: a study of gambling in betting shops. Sociology, 32, 581–600.Google Scholar
  26. Parke, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2006). The psychology of the fruit machine: the role of structural characteristics (revisited). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 4, 151–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parke, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2007). The role of structural characteristics in gambling. In G. Smith, D. Hodgins, & R. Williams (Eds.), Research and measurement issues in gambling studies (pp. 211–243). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  28. Rosecrance, J. (1986a). Why regular gamblers don’t quit: a sociological perspective. Sociological Perspectives, 29(3), 357–387.Google Scholar
  29. Rosecrance, J. (1986b). You can’t tell the players without a scorecard: a typology of horse players. Deviant Behaviour, 7, 77–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Spradley, J. P. (1980). Participant observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  31. Turner, N., & Horbay, R. (2004). How do slot machines and other electronic gambling machines actually work? Journal of Gambling Issues, 11. Located at: http://www.camh.net/egambling/issue11/jgi_11_turner_horbay.html (Last accessed July 20, 2010).

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

Personalised recommendations