When people think about casinos, they often conjure images of men and women of varying ages and ethnicities sitting in front of slot machines with their eyes glued to the screen and their hands poised to hit the button. Perhaps, they even feel the rush of anticipation and excitement that comes with a possible win — big or small.
Whether in person or online, many gamblers have tried their hand at playing slots. In fact, these devices generate about three-quarters of gambling revenue per year. And many of those who develop gambling problems state it was because of their draw to slot games. One study from a Brown University psychiatrist found that people who regularly play slots develop a gambling disorder three to four times faster than those who play table games or bet on sports. Why is the attraction to slot machines so great?
Despite the fact that slot games are designed to play in favor of the operators, and the chance of winning is low, people still frequently play casino slots or slot games online. They are drawn to these games because they are easy and exciting to play. Let’s take a deeper look at the attractive features of slot machines.
5 Reasons Gamblers Play Slot Machines
Are you curious why you or a loved one is constantly drawn to slots even though it’s described as a game of chance? Here are the main reasons why slot machines are popular:
Continuous Play Is Easy
Players are highly attracted to the speed of slot games. A single game can be completed in three or four seconds. Once the player sees the results (whether they won or lost), they can initiate another game. Their play isn’t even hindered by feeding the machine more money because most accept digital coins or cards.
Gamblers can fall into the easy rhythm of play, losing their sense of time and number of wagers. Without any restrictions to their play, gamblers can easily become dangerously hooked.
Initial Stakes Are Low
Many people are drawn to slot machines because there are relatively low initial stakes. All a player needs to start a game is a few dollars. For many people, this small amount of money is nothing. Where they get into trouble is when they do not realize how many games they’ve played in one sitting and how often they return, hoping for a win.
It is tempting to keep playing slot games because you get into a mindset that you’ve invested so much in the game already that a win is surely around the corner. And you don’t want someone else to reap the rewards of your efforts. Unfortunately, this idea of a hot slot machine can cause you to develop a gambling problem.
Playing Slots Releases Dopamine (or the Feel Good Chemical)
One of the biggest factors playing a role in why people continuously return to slot machines even when they are on a losing streak is because they feel a rush of excitement every time they perceive they are close to a win.
When a gambler wins some type of reward — whether free spins, bonuses, or the jackpot — dopamine is released in their brain. This chemical heightens their sense of euphoria. It allows them to feel the same way they do after exercising or making love, and they want to experience this feeling again and again, no matter how many losses it takes from them to achieve it.
The Distinctive Features of the Slot Machine Attract Players
Slot games have been designed to take advantage of players’ psychological behaviors. They feature flashing lights, ringing bells, and a chance to win big.
The distinctive colors and sounds of slot games make them more attractive than the average game at a casino. These flashing, ringing machines call out to people as they navigate the casino floor. And if a person approaches a device, they are enticed to keep playing by the sound of coins dropping into a cup, the flashing dollar signs on the screen, and the blinking lights. The overall experience is rewarding and memorable.
Slot Machines Are Widely Accessible
It’s easy to develop an issue with playing slot machines because they are so easily accessible. Not only can you play them in casinos, but you can also find them in bars, arcades, gas stations, and online. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find a machine that can feed your craving.
Help for Slot Players With a Problem
The problematic playing of slot machines is harmful to your financial, emotional, and mental well-being. It can also negatively impact your relationship with family and friends. For these reasons, it’s important to monitor your playing behavior carefully.
If you would like to learn more about the factors that contribute to a gambling problem or how you can get help, call 1-800-GAMBLER. Our staff will provide information on programs and resources, such as GA meetings online and in-person. Don’t hesitate to contact us any time of day or night.