UNLV study urges operators to adapt approach to gambling

By Gambling Insider

A study has shown that the common strategy, known as lowering the house edge, makes no difference for the gambler.

The house edge represents the casino’s long-term advantage when comparing the amounts wagered with the amounts paid out.

Professors from the The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Anthony Lucas and A. K. Singh, conducted the research and found that even when the house edge is more than doubled, there was no statistical difference in the number of spins observed for the individual gambler.

The study, which was based on a simulation of 100 years of weekly play, analysed the outcomes produced by reel slot machines with hidden-yet-different house edges, under identical wagering rules.

The conclusion was that, despite big differences in the house edge, the number of spins on the games was “remarkably similar."

Lucas explained: “If individual players don’t see results from their play that allow them to detect differences in the house edge, there is an opportunity for gaming operators to keep a greater portion of the wagers. Even subtle changes in the frequency of big jackpots can make important contributions to the overall slot revenue.” 

Therefore, with new generations of games hitting the market and players becoming more interested in the nuances of their gaming experience (while looking for a better return on their bets), casino operators and game makers should revisit their understanding of how game mechanics affect the individual gambler’s experience, as per the study.

Lucas concluded: “Change is understandably difficult for all of us in this business when you’re up against decades of firmly entrenched explanations of how slot machines work. As a result, it’s going to take some time for any new thinking on the subject to gain traction.”

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