Gambling is a business like any other, which is designed to bring financial profits to the owners. It is a widespread concept that the house never loses and that is the truth. From the lightening to the color of the walls and the air-freshener, everything is carefully chosen to keep the attention of the player engaged. Even the good old slot machines have their tricks, which are not even illegal. The scheme became popular as losses disguised as wins (LDWs).
To be more accurate, these are slot machines outcomes where players bet on a number of lines and win back less than they have wagered. But even though the players lose money, the sirens and the lights of the gambling device are activated, luring the players that they have won. According to various researchers, players respond to the LDWs in the same way as they treat the losses disguised as wins. A recent study, conducted by Waterloo psychology professors found out that the newbie slot machine players, who watched a short educational video prior to playing are aware of the LDWs trick and have better chances to avoid gambling-related issues.
The information in the study is based on results from an experiment, in which the participants are divided into 2 equal groups. One of the group watched the short educational video regarding the LDWs, while the other group watched another video, not-related to gambling. After that, all participants played two games. One of the games featured only a few LDWs, while the other one was full of them. Once both groups had an equal number of gaming sessions, all the participants were asked how many times did they win and lose, respectively.
Candice Graydon, lead author and a PhD candidate in Waterloo’s Department of Psychology commented that the group, which watched the educational video focused on slot machines could easily recognize the wins from the losses disguised as wins. The second group, on the other hand, had a totally wrong perception regarding the number of their wins.
Another research, conducted by the University’s Gambling Research Lab revealed that these LDWs scheme makes it even harder for vulnerable players to stop playing even if losing. In that way, the slot machines may unlock people’s gambling problems. The study, conducted by Waterloo psychology professors concluded that players, who have just started playing slot machines have better chances to avoid gambling problems in case they are aware of the tricks. In that way, the players will stay vigilant in this regard.
LDWs – Deception or Legal
Hearing this story, many people would argue that these slot machines deceive players. In fact, the allegation is not fully true as the slot machines are programmed to “celebrate” any combinations of single line wins, but not net wins. It should be also noted that when the players wager on multiple lines, they unite their multiple bets into a single event. Sound effects, on the other hand, are attached to “celebrate” every single winning line, but not all of them. In that sense, slot machines which disguise losses as wins are considered to be within the boundaries of the law and any accusations of deceiving players are not valid.