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Title: An investigation into the role of situational and structural characteristics of fruit machine playing
Author: Parke, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3468 8657
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2007
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In the UK, 47% of all calls to GamCare (a primary source of counselling and advice for problem gamblers in the UK) were from fruit machine or fixed odds betting terminal players (Gamcare, 2005). Despite their popularity, there is a distinct lack of research investigating the psychology of fruit machine gambling in the UK, particularly in respect to adult gambling. Furthermore, little attention has been given to the structural determinants of machine gambling in relation to player experience and appeal. This thesis explores the structural and situational factors of fruit machine gambling in the United Kingdom incorporating a range of demographics, sites and locations. The principal methods employed include participant observation, surveys, interviews and personal communications. Fruit machine gamblers reported high levels of pathological gambling and a high frequency of visits to gambling environments although over a third of the sample claimed to make a profit on a regular basis. Post-gambling cognitions were identified among fruit machine players in the form of positive thinking used as a coping strategy after losing. Unlike in other fields of health, in gambling such cognitive activity after losing is considered counterproductive to life adjustment. Most importantly, several new and developed situational and structural characteristics of fruit machine gambling were recorded which have several implications for player behaviour. 'Money-In-Money-Out (MIMO) ratio' and 'Skimming' were identified as two aspects critical in fruit machine play which have implications for the appeal and addictive nature of fruit machines. A typology was also created based on how individuals interact with such design features offering clear criteria for membership and suggesting valid implications for the understanding and management of machine gambling. Implications of all findings are considered in terms of player behaviour, and the prevention and treatment of pathological gambling. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available