How do Electronic Gaming Machines work?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

This discussion paper by a leading specialist in the area is designed to fill a gap in the understanding of how pokies actually work. Prepared by Charles Livingstone for the Australian Gambling Research Centre, it furnishes an understanding of the characteristics of poker machines (EGMs) that keep players playing, providing entertainment but also potential pathways to addict like behaviour by players. It notes how the design of pokies incorporates insights from psychology to maximise bet sizes and time spent on the machine. It elaborates on the maths that underpin actual machine operation and explains the way return to player works.

The paper provides insights that can be of use to policy makers and regulators concerned with licensing EGM products. In particular, it provides an overview of the features found on gaming machines and their effects on users.

Discussion paper

Charles Livingstone, How electronic gambling machines work: Structural characteristics Australian Gambling Research Centre discussion paper no.8 2017

Download the discussion paper

Of related interest: Schottler Consulting (2014) Impact of Structural Characteristics of Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs), Victoria: Australia, Gambling Research Australia.

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