How Do Slot Machines and Other Electronic Gambling Machines Actually Work?

About the Course:

Slot machines and other electronic gambling machines (EGMs) are gambling devices that offer a variety of games and have become the most profitable form of gambling. Slot machines and other EGMs attract many myths, partly because of a lack of accurate information on how the machines work and partly due to the design of the machines. This publication discusses how slot machines really work. The goal is to demystify the machines in order to demystify the games. This paper is intended to serve as a resource for counselors and prevention workers in the field of problem gambling.

Journal/Publisher:

Journal of Gambling Issues

Publication Date:

July 2004, Issue 11

Author

Nigel Turner

About the Author:

Nigel Turner, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He received his doctorate in cognitive psychology at the University of Western Ontario (1995) and has worked for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for the past nine years. He has extensive experience in quantitative research methods including psychometrics, surveys, experimental studies, and computer simulations. He is particularly interested in cognitive models of problem gambling and has authored three papers on gambling systems.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about how slot machines work. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify the various types of electronic gambling machines (EGMs) and discuss their similarities and differences.

  2. Describe the inner workings of a slot machine and discuss the concept of randomness as it applies to them.

  3. List and reply to common myths associated with gambling machines.

  4. Discuss the concept of addiction as it applies to EGMs.

Exam Questions

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