HomeNews ❯ Link Found Between Aural Stimulation and More Gambling Risks

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Link Found Between Aural Stimulation and More Gambling Risks

Research carried out by the University of British Columbia has revealed that there is a direct link between audiovisual stimulation, and greater levels of gambling addiction. This is something that many people have suspected for a while, but the results have proven conclusive this week. Monday saw the publishing of results that seemed to suggest flashing lights and catchy sounds on slot machines encourage gamblers to take more risks.

This is something that could link with a lot of the problem gambling that Canada has suffered with over the past few years. Indeed, recent news detailed how free online gaming has seen a spike in teen gambling across Canada, but the problem seems to run deeper than that. Indeed, there are a lot of things that can lead to greater addiction and more gambling problems, and it seems that these recent findings have maybe caused alarm bells among a lot of people.

Of course, many would argue that it is the choice of gamblers to gamble, and they have a responsibility to make sure they are not falling foul of addiction. But, unfortunately it is not always that simple, and casinos and slots providers must shoulder a portion of the responsibility as well. In fact, there was controversy across the country recently when it was announced that Nova Scotia was scrapping lifetime bans for problem gamblers. There were genuine worries that this could encourage other provinces to follow suit, and lead to more gambling problems.

Slot Machines

Well, with the release of this report from UBC, problem gambling is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. It is interesting to note the link between the way games are made, and the way gamblers play them. It is easy to think that a game is simply a game, but the power of suggestion actually plays a massive role in taking this process forward.

It is very much the power of suggestion, and this is something that seems to play a big part in the makeup of slots games. Results showed players were more likely to make risky decisions when exposed to so-called sensory clues, such as bright flashing lights, and catchy music. It also proved that the situation became further complicated when these sensory clues were linked with previous wins, showing Pavlov’s Dog in full effect.

Mariya Cherkasova, lead author of the study, claimed, “We found an individual’s choices were less guided by the odds of winning when the casino-like audiovisual features were present in our lab game.” In the absence of these clues, it was found that participants showed more restraint when making choices and decisions. The conclusion was clear – casino lights and sounds encourage risky decision-making.

Of course, casinos would likely dispute this claim, and suggest that their games are not designed with that in mind. But it seems pretty clear that this is one of the defining factors of many of these modern games, and this certainly raises questions about whether there should be closer monitoring of games and how they are made.

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