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The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention.

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Research & Analysis

The following Responsible Gambling Council research and analysis is available for download. When sharing or quoting information contained in these reports, please cite the report, its authors, and its publication date. Please contact us if you have any questions about the appropriate use of this material.

Not all RGC Centre research is posted here for public use due to contractual obligation and confidentiality.

Electronic Gaming Machines and Problem Gambling

Responsible Gambling Council | Mar 16, 2007

In February 2006, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), the organization which regulates all video lottery terminals (VLTs) and slot machines, made a commitment to review its policies regarding electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and problem gambling. To inform their review, SLGA asked the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) to conduct a broad-based exploration of key informant opinions regarding best practices in the management of EGMs.

Numerous studies have attempted to shed light on the nature of the relationship between EGMs and problem gambling. For the purpose of this report, the variables that have been examined in many of these studies are classified into three general areas:

  1. EGM features
  2. venue features
  3. community accessibility features

Using these three areas as its framework, this study assesses, via the opinion of various key informants, which features are most likely to contribute to problem gambling, and which modifications to these features are most likely to reduce EGM-related problem gambling risk.

As the report shows, key informants believed that certain features intrinsic to EGMs, such as the speed of play and appearance of near-misses, contribute to the risk of problem gambling. With respect to potential modifications, all key informant groups supported changes that did not directly involve the functioning of EGMs, but focused instead on the management of money, pre-commitment, the use of smart card technology, and restricting community access.

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