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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

Cortado (published 20th February 2019)

Room with a view (published 18th February 2019)

The Nativity × Gaudí (published 17th February 2019)

CJ’s infectious laughter (published 6th January 2012)

A ‘thing’ about memorials and Acts of Remembrance (published 13th November 2005)

The Death of Yesterday (published 24th January 2005)

MediaGuardian ‘Worse than the Sunday Sport’ (published 17th June 2005)


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