In a 60 Minutes segment this evening, we learned today’s slot machines are so well designed that addicts often think they’re winning even when they’re losing. Other users report disliking jackpots (i.e. “winning”) because they slow down the action!
Gambling addiction is nothing new, of course, but the hook with tonight’s segment was that modern-day slot machines are so well designed that they may be even more addictive than ever before.
In a series of interviews with recovering slot machine addicts, an MIT anthropologist and several government officials (casinos or gambling are allowed in 38 states), 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl found that slot machines’ sounds, insane speeds and huge number of simultaneous bets may have made the humble one-armed bandit into the perfect gambling machine. Perfect for the casinos, that is, which—whether deliberately or not is uncear—are raking in the cash courtesy the 2% to 3% of the U.S. population that simply cannot say “no” because of their addiction.
Fun fact: Americans spend more than $US1 billion per day on slot machines! (And we know Aussies are per capita amongst the worst in the world, too. -SB) [60 Minutes]