New MA Study Shows Gamblers Do Not Understate Odds
A new study conducted in Massachusetts has reveled that most gamblers do not understand the odds of gambling when taking part in various activities.
Every gambling game has odds. These odds dictate how often you can win based on certain factors. With poker, the odds are based on which hands you earn. In craps, the odds are based on which bet you place and the outcome of the dice roll. In Massachusetts, a study was recently conducted involving game odds and player understanding. The outcome has revealed that most players in the state are unaware of the odds they face when playing casino games.
Canadian based research and consultancy firm Gamres conducted involving 1,500 gamblers in the state. The goal was to learn more about player behavior and beliefs. Key findings of the study showed that most gamblers are not aware of the odds and that the house is usually favored in gambling games.
The study was led by Dr. Richard Wood, a psychologist that specializes in gaming behavior. The findings of the study were presented to the Gaming Commission just last week. Dr. Wood showed that 37.5% of those in the study have a high Positive Play Scale rating regarding gambling literacy.
In the study, the term gambling literacy refers to the ability of the player to have an accurate understanding of the odds to win a casino game. Around 34.4% had a medium rating while 28.1% had a low understanding. The rating system was created by Wood back in 2017 and was created to help build responsible gambling measures based on understanding gambler behavior.
More Gambling Education
The result of the study was that Dr. Wood suggested that the state gaming agency develop programs to educate gamblers. A focus should be placed on education younger players. The Dr. pointed out that over time, players will learn more about the games and become more experienced, especially if they are exposed to responsible gambling information.
When it comes to young people, they are generally risk-takers. With some educational programs involving gambling responsibility, young people can learn at an early age more on how to play the games correctly and understand the odds involved.
The Dr. said that the focus should be on the younger generation and media should be used that will appeal to players. This way, anyone who chooses to gamble can do so in a responsible manner moving forward.
Dr. Wood has conducted similar studies in other states within the US and has seen a similar outcome like that of Massachusetts. He says that gambling literacy in the US is lower than other countries like Scandinavia and Canada. The US should look to these regions for guidance when it comes to responsible gaming, according to the Dr.
Gambling Within Financial Means
While players are struggling with gambling literacy, they do seem to understand the personal responsibility involved in gambling. Almost 77% of those who took part in the study showed that they understand that it is important to gamble within their financial means.
Players in the US do tend to enjoy gambling responsibly for the most part. Studies have been conducted over the years to show that most players stick to a budget and do not play above their means.
So while players might not fully understand the odds against them when playing, they do know that playing responsibly requires a budge and not playing with more money than they can afford to. One key element of irresponsible gambling is to continue playing once a budget has been spent or without considering the effect of spending more money.
It is unclear if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will follow the suggestions of the study findings and create more responsible gambling programs. It does seem likely though that the regulator will add more options for players safety and education.