Jackpot Expiries May Help Limit Problem Gambling
A new Australian study has found that setting a ‘jackpot expiry’ time limit on poker machines results in gamblers walking away sooner.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, made use of a program whereby after a predetermined amount of time, a message would appear telling gamblers that they will not be able to win the jackpot for a certain amount of time.
According to the lead author, Associate Professor Matthew Rockloff, jackpot expiry is a consumer protection measure that acts as a ‘soft break’ for gamblers.
Rockloff said, “At the point where they start gambling excessively, either excessive time within a session or even excessively over a period of days … the jackpots expire for a period of time.
It allows people to consider whether they want to continue gambling. They can if they wish for pure recreation, but they are locked out of winning the jackpot.”
The study tested 130 volunteers who were given $20 and asked if they wish to gamble the money with the chance to win a $500 jackpot. The game was fixed to give small early wins followed by an indefinite period of losses.
According to Rockloff, once the expiry message appeared “people started gambling slower and they ended up quitting earlier, meaning that they walked away with more money.”