I’m not a big one for citing studies because I think more than half of the time these so-called ‘experts’ just make up junk to justify their obscure existences. However there are those times when I stumble across a study that reinforces my personal observations and reasoning, The gaming industry also invests a ton of money into studying gambling psychology, so maybe there is something to this.

Some scientists were commissioned to do a study on the effects that ‘near misses’ have on gamblers. It can be found in Neuron for anyone that cares. Anyway, what they found was that a Near Miss generated more brain activity in the pleasure areas of the brain than a win. Go figure. The brain reacts in strange ways. I would have to agree with their conclusions just based on my observations of gamblers in general. I’ve seen people hit a big win or even a Jackpot, and relatively speaking they are a ‘cool as a cucumber’ compared to those near miss spins. I guess that when you hit a big win, the excitement is over…you’ve done it. Whereas with a near miss you’re still on a quest and now you’re feeling like you’re one step closer. For whatever the reason, the casinos and the slot manufactures have picked up on it and have made good use of it to keep players glued to their seats and wallets open.

Well, that’s ‘deceptive’ you say. ‘They would be crucified in any other industry for such practices. There should be laws against that.’ Guess what…THERE IS, but that’s not the end of the story.

A Japanese slot machine manufacturer name Universal Distributing had slot machines approved and in use throughout the state of Nevada. It wasn’t until 1988 that the state regulators discovered that the company had programmed a feature into their games that for a non-winning spin at times they would force two of the jackpot symbols on the pay line, and the 3rd one either right above or right below the pay line. There were no laws against this at the time, but needless to say it caused a bit of commotion and resulted in a number of hearings to discuss the issue. Consequently, regulation 14 of the Nevada gaming laws (which applies to the manufacturer and distributors of gaming devices) was amended in 1989 to prevent this activity.