NEW PAPER: Commentary on Waterloo LDW paper

Spencer Murch and Luke Clark have a commentary piece on the excellent new paper in Addiction by Candice Graydon, Mike Dixon and colleagues at the University of Waterloo. Congrats and kudos to Graydon et al for designing an ultra-realistic ‘simulated’ slot machine to manipulate the rates of Losses Disguised as Wins in the lab. For studying specific ‘structural features’ of EGMs, we argue that this level of precise experimental control cannot be attained in field studies. How should gambling policy respond to the emerging data on LDWs? Drawing on the influential ‘nudge’ framework in behavioural insights, slot machines could either be modified (e.g. regulation enforcing ‘silent LDWs’ in Tasmania & Queensland) and/or gamblers can be informed about the presence of LDWs using ‘debiasing’ tools like video demos – both approaches require further evaluation.

Murch WS & Clark L. Realistic simulations and nudging gambling policy [commentary]. Addiction 2019, 114: 125-6. Doi: 10.1111/add.14493