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Weekend read: The science of slot-machine gambling

My recommended read for this weekend is an interview with Natasha Dow Schüll, an MIT cultural antropologist, about slot machines (and casinos more generally). The interview was conducted by Brad Plummer of Vox.

slot machine

As is often Vox‘s style, both the interview and a written-up story based on it are on the same page. I’ve linked directly to the interview itself, as I found that more interesting – but, of course, your mileage may vary.

As an aside: the article says that manufactures often ‘smooth’ the gameplay by making payouts less volatile, while maintaining the payout rate. Apparently, this is legal, as it doesn’t count as changing the ‘odds’. This seems to imply that, in the States at least, odds are regulated in terms of pay-out rate. This seems an intriguingly dumb interpretation of statistics, which has no regard to the player’s own experience. Can it possibly be true?

This 2,274th post was filed under: Weekend Reads, , , .

More posts worth reading

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What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

Denmark cartoon controversy (published 3rd February 2006)

Feeling I should post… (published 15th July 2004)

Another British instituion mercilessly destroyed (published 5th October 2006)

Photo-a-day 63: Fleet Air Arm (published 5th March 2014)


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