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Casino Promotion and Gambling Addiction

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by Slotster!, Jun 2, 2007.

    Jun 2, 2007
  1. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    I don't know if it's just me - but what is it with casino promotional literature?

    Don't get me wrong, I know they are very experienced at reaching into the psyche of their prospective customers, but I think it's a bit naughty the way they craftily try and exploit the triggers of the compulsive gambler. Now I'm not talking Jackpot Factory here, but here's an example of one I received this morning (from a reputable, good brand/software site):

    ====
    We have seen many legends adorn the game rooms of our illustrious Casino and although many of these players have been heralded as the titans they are, some have accomplished much unnoticed.
    ====

    "Legends adorn the game rooms of our illustrious casino" What!?!?? To suggest that randomnly winning some money is an act of skill and 'accomplishment' is more than a bit wrong... They actually mean "Some people have installed our software, deposited money and clicked 'spin'.

    ====
    That is why each day of June blahblahblah.com is rewarding our most talented player with 100 cash AND etc...
    ====

    "Most talented"?!?!? Again, can some people click the left mouse button in a much more special way than others?

    It continues...

    ====
    Entrance into this daily tournament is as easy as rolling a dice - simply wager (turnover) at least 100 with a minimum of 20 bets on ANY of our Casino games (slots, Table Classics, Instant Win, etc) and if you finish the day with the best payout ratio you will be granted the 100 prize.
    ====

    Ah right, so what you actually have to do - is just put some money in and use your skill, precision, judgement and accuracy to achieve the best payout ratio. In fact, it's as easy as rolling a dice, another activity that depends on the skill and ingenuity of the gifted.

    ====
    So, wait not any more and log in at our Games Room for your chance to crush those lesser players and earn your rightful reward!
    ====

    Compulsive Gambler = Assume superior gambling experience and 'skill' over their peers... "Your rightful reward"

    Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

    Still, like I say, they know their businesses inside out - so I guess they're just doing what pays!

    Excluding tourist type spots like Vegas etc, I genuinely wonder how much of the casino business would survive without the addict/compulsive; online businesses even more so.

    A member of staff from a reasonably well known online casino pretty much admitted to me that, without the 'chasers' - it would be game over.

    Frightening.
     
    9 people like this.
  2. Jun 2, 2007
  3. KasinoKing

    KasinoKing WebMeister & Slotaholic.. CAG MM PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    House-Husband and Casino Advisor
    Location:
    Bexhill on sea, England
    It's not just you - but I think most of us understand why they write like this and personally I don't have a problem with it.
    Gives us a good giggle now & then! ;)

    That is very true.
    If everyone played like me all online casinos would be shut down, or at least have to stop giving bonuses.
    But why is that frightening?
    That's the business they are in - they need winners as well as losers.
    If it was all one or all the other they would be in deep doo-doos! :eek2:

    I agree that compulsive gambling can be a serious problem for some (including some who post here unfortunately) and I always urge people to only risk what they can afford & are fully prepared to lose.
    But you have to remember that some people just enjoy playing & don't really care that much if they win or lose.
    Good on 'em I say! :cheers:

    KK
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jun 2, 2007
  5. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    I hear what you're saying, and I agree that 'winners and losers' is good! The house edge should take care of that, in overall terms.

    The objection I've got is to the subtle targeting of compulsive behaviour, leaving me wondering just how much of the online world is sustained by such.
     
  6. Jun 2, 2007
  7. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Yeah promos are getting well desperate! I had one yesterday that went like this:

    Aside from getting the no of reels wrong (d'oh!), i thought ok, this is a promotion, maybe for a holiday - lets have a look. Turned out it wasn't anything. No match bonus, no promo, no competition, no prize. Just an email to tell you there's a slot called Spring Break!

    Er yeah, righto! Like I'm just gonna re-install 800 meg of data, wait 4 hours for the updates since I last played and spend my day waiting for the "waves of cash" :rolleyes: Muppets aren't stupid...but they clearly give off that impression!
     
    2 people like this.
  8. Jun 2, 2007
  9. Vesuvio

    Vesuvio Dormant account

    Location:
    UK
    Yep, if anyone ever has any qualms about using bonuses "not in the manner in which they were intended" a quick browse of your in-box always does the trick :thumbsup:
     
  10. Jun 2, 2007
  11. jenn1381

    jenn1381 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Data Management Assistant - Health unit
    Location:
    Canada

    I got the same damn email, and I was not happy! Talk about a waste of time and space in my inbox! If you're an online gambler and you DON'T know there is a game called spring break, you need help. We aren't stupid. Someone at that casino is reallllllly bored.
     
  12. Jun 2, 2007
  13. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    I got it also guys, and almost posted about it myself. What was the point of it? Just another useless email. I actually did fire off an email to them asking wtf? But surprise of all surprises, no reply.
     
  14. Jun 2, 2007
  15. Rusty

    Rusty Banned User - repetitive flaming

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    But you have to remember that some people just enjoy playing & don't really care that much if they win or lose.
    Good on 'em I say!


    Not so sure if that can be true.
    After all if you do'nt care if you win or lose what is the point of playing for money?
    You might as well play in fun mode.
    but certainly some people take losing better than others but then again perhaps they also win occasionaly which certainly helps.

    Many of the promos I receive in my email would be banned in a properly regulated industry for false advertising but then again I have to agree with KK some of them are so bad they are amusing.
     
  16. Jun 2, 2007
  17. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    This may help explain Rusty and there is all kinds of published as well as ongoing medical research. The following is not from a medical journal but is based on known medical research. I post this article as it easier to understand than some of the publications it is based on: Source:This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

    Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page


    Biology 202, Spring 2005
    First Web Papers
    On Serendip

    Dopamine and Addiction

    Imran Siddiqui
    Dopamine is neurotransmitter in the brain that plays vital roles in a variety of different behaviors. The major behaviors dopamine affects are movement, cognition, pleasure, and motivation (1). Dopamine is an essential component of the basal ganglia motor loop, as well as the neurotransmitter responsible for controlling the exchange of information from one brain area to another (1). However, it is the role that dopamine plays in pleasure and motivation that attracts the most neurobiologists attention as well as mine.

    In certain areas of the brain when dopamine is released it gives one the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction (1). These feelings of satisfaction become desired, and the person will grow a desire for the satisfaction. To satisfy that desire the person will repeat behaviors that cause the release of dopamine (2). For example food and sex release dopamine (2). That is why people want food even though their body does not need it and why people sometimes need sex. These two behaviors scientifically make sense since the body needs food to survive, and humans need to have sex to allow the race to survive. However, other, less natural behaviors have the same effect on one's dopamine levels, and at times can even be more powerful. Often these behaviors can result in addiction due their effect on dopamine, and that addiction can have negative effects on a person's well-being. Two of such behaviors are

    Cocaine is by far the more severe of the two in terms of addiction. Cocaine chemically inhibits the natural dopamine cycle. Normally, after dopamine is released, it is recycled back into a dopamine transmitting neuron. However, cocaine binds to the dopamine, and does not allow it to be recycled. Thus there is a buildup of dopamine, and it floods certain neural areas (3). The flood ends after about 30 minutes, and the person is left yearning to feel as he or she once did (3). That is how the addiction begins. Progressively a tolerance builds up due to the fact that the person is constantly trying to repeat the feeling that he or she had the first time (2). However, the person cannot, because dopamine is also released when something pleasurable yet unexpected occurs (4). After the first time, the person expects the effect, thus less dopamine is released, and the experience is less satisfying. This principal is the foundation of why gambling releases dopamine.
    Several studies have been conducted which targeted neural response to rewards. The results were unanimous in the fact that when one performed an action over and over again, and was given a reward randomly, dopamine levels rose. If the reward was given consistently, i.e. every four time the action was performed, the dopamine levels remained constant. Finally, if no reward was given dopamine levels dropped (4). These same random rewards can be seen in gambling. Because the outcome is based on chance, one does not know prior if he or she will win. Therefore, if the person one wins, dopamine levels increase (4). However, unlike cocaine, gambling causes addiction in only 4% of participants. This is due to the fact that Cocaine's chemical input is much more influential on dopamine levels than gambling's behavioral input. Therefore, only people whose dopamine levels are low, become addicted to gambling (5).

    This brings up a very interesting topic of discussion. How do some people have lower dopamine levels than others? Is it genetic, environment related, something else, or a combination of factors? One study concluded that pathological gamblers most often experienced traumatizing experiences when they were younger (5). Because most people who become addicted to gambling have low dopamine levels, and also that same group usually has endured a traumatic experience, we have support for the observation that overall dopamine levels can change due to environmental factors. This then supports the observation that both the mind and brain can change to environmental factors. However, another study has observed that a gene related to dopamine is found twice as often in pathological gamblers than non-gamblers
    (5). This supports the observation that dopamine levels are genetic. Therefore, there are two plausible observations that can be made. Either both genetics and environmental factors effect ones brain anatomy and mind simultaneously, or that environmental factors can affect genes which in turn affect ones brain and mind. Because the observations in the studies show such a strong correlation between pathological gambling, traumatic experiences, and genetic influence, it the later which seems to be the least wrong observation.

    Another important question, however more philosophical, is why is risk and reward a trigger for the release of dopamine? As stated earlier, it is scientifically logical that sex and food release dopamine, because they are essential for the sustained life of man. Risk and reward are not, are they? It is my belief that in nature everything happens for a reason; therefore, there must be a scientific explanation for the increase of dopamine levels in result of risk and reward. It seems to me that the human race separates itself from other species on this planet by not only its ability to reason, but its ability to create and innovate. I feel that nature wants humans to create and innovate, and in order to do this a person has to feel satisfaction when one accomplishes an innovation. To accomplish an innovation one has to take risks. It is risky to try to do something that no other being on earth has ever accomplished. Therefore, there must be a reward other than material that one gets when he or she accomplishes the innovation, or that person would not take the risk. The reward is the release of dopamine and the feeling of satisfaction. The problem with this process is that not only can one be satisfied after a major risk and accomplishment, but one can also be satisfied through constant minute risks and accomplishments. Gambling is an example of this.
    These feelings of satisfaction that dopamine exhibits are so strong that one can often loses one's ability to reason in order to achieve satisfaction (4). It is then the unconscious that takes over and begins to make certain decisions. The brain develops neural circuits that unconsciously assess reward (4). Because the dopamine plays an active role in these circuits, a person will act in what they think is in their best interest, when in fact the only interest it satisfies is the release of dopamine. This can be exemplified in gambling where one insists on gambling even though he or she knows that the odds are against them (4). This is the case in all casino games, where the games are structured for the house to win. Probability and reason no longer are the most important factors in decision making. The unconscious need for the release of dopamine becomes most important. This supports the observation that the unconscious plays a vital role in decision making.
    From this discussion of dopamine and addiction I was able to make some fairly general observations abut the brain. I observed that both a chemical (cocaine) and a behavior (gambling) can have the same effect on the brain. Furthermore, I observed that the brain is affected by both genes and environmental factors, and that most likely the environmental factors affect genes which affect the brain. Also, I was able to observe that dopamine makes humans take risks so that they may achieve greater innovations. And finally it was observable through gambling that the unconscious is constantly making important decisions. It is amazing how one specific topic can generate so many general observations about how the brain, mind, and nature function.

    References
    1) Dopamine

    2) The Dopamine Connection

    3) Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

    4) Hijacking the Brain Circuits with a Nickel Slot Machine

    5) Mental and Physical Status of Gamblers: Physiological Findings


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    3 people like this.
  18. Jun 2, 2007
  19. Rusty

    Rusty Banned User - repetitive flaming

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I am not sure what this explains to me.
    I simply stated that I doubt that many people who play for real do not care if they win or lose.:confused:
    If there is no risk/reward element then there is no satisfaction for a gambler.
    Or to put it another way, if the outcome is unimportant then you are not "gambling" (which can be defined as a risk taking device).
    I have read about dopamine and its relevance to addiction somewhere else but I must say that I do not believe it is responsible for our sex drives or appertites among other things.
    After all a man has no sex drive when castrated which suggest testosterone is much more important here and does a cow get a dopamine release from endlessly chewing grass? again I think there are other hormones at work here.
    I think you can even attribute the urge to gamble to many other things(sometimes it can be a symptom of depression), dopamine release/pleasure is just one of them.
    Nice to have a scientific disscusion though :thumbsup:
     
  20. Jun 3, 2007
  21. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    With no intent of casting stones, it is best that I not rebut any inaccuracy (among other issues) in your post with medical science for I am not a doctor,scientist or interventionist. If one wants to understand addiction and the physiology of the brain, there is a multitude of medical publishings. If one wants to deny and rewrite medical science they have that right......that being said, and to tie into the OP's post, casino marketing certainly understands the medical science, it is not only math. as has been pointed out many times in this forum that is building $7 billion casino mega resorts like the new MGM project..............off the subject but back to dopamine, remember those tobacco companies and that nicotine is not addictive. Quite the contrary as nicotine has been labeled the most of addictive of all and nicotine triggers dopamine release in the pleasure center of the brain in approx. 7 seconds but that is a different issue............One more 7 in this post and I would have 21 in pontoon, I guess...........not interested in a pissing contest so I will drop this subject and wish all the best.......thanks.
     
  22. Jun 3, 2007
  23. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    i remembered reading about some problems with parkinson's drugs and gambling: You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  24. Jun 3, 2007
  25. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    There are also several research studies - most recently a global survey last year by the University of Nottingham Trent commissioned by eCOGRA, and I think another one commissioned by the DCMS - that speak to the attraction of entertainment and pleasure over necessity to win.

    Whilst the thought of "entertainment" is anathema to many experienced gamblers, this nevertheless has surfaced enough times to bear consideration.
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Jun 3, 2007
  27. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Mine was from Jackpot City. If yours was too, look closely at the site name in the URL posted in the email. A small but interesting (?) amendment to the URL instead of jackpotcity.com, it points to jackpotscity.com - that made me a bit suspicious but then I figured if they knew my account number, it had to be them.
     
  28. Jun 3, 2007
  29. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    Yeah, I've noticed Belle Rock seem to have a load of crazy/different URL's for promos/emails etc... I'm sure there's some method in their madness... Probably something to do with avoiding the popular spam filters etc.
     
  30. Jun 3, 2007
  31. Rusty

    Rusty Banned User - repetitive flaming

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Manchester UK

    Hmmm still not sure where we are in dissagreement but hey whatever.
    I believe I know a good rubber pants shop though if you are interested.
     
  32. Jun 3, 2007
  33. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    NOW THIS IS INTERESTING

    J / K ! I am probably banned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  34. Jun 3, 2007
  35. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    LOL, I let u know next time I'm in a pissing contest.:D
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. Jun 3, 2007
  37. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Occupation:
    webmistress
    Location:
    The Boonies
    at the risk of being poo-pooed -

    I think you would be surprised at the number of "entertainment" gamblers. And indeed the Springbreak ad is aimed at them.

    Many people don't play consistently or seriously, and they don't know all that many of the games.

    Just the fact that we are interested enough to all post here and read all about it means gambling has some importance in our lives. There are many people who gamble online who would be bored at the forums, it simply doesn't carry enough interest for them. For them, reading about gambling carries about the importance of looking up a recipe for stuffed pork chops. It's a point of interest at some time, so they may look up a game strategy some place, and that's that.

    There is a considerable number of people who gamble like they might buy an ice cream cone at a fair. They surf an hour a day or so, and maybe once every couple of weeks they might play for a half hour. The rest of the time they spend on the rest of the thousands of things you can do online.

    Don't underestimate the number of these, they support the thousand or so portals that make some money online.

    For these gamblers the springbreak slot may be a new flavor ice cream that may entice, or it may be something they did play a year ago or so and enjoyed.

    You may say that they are not gamblers, and if you strictly define the word, they are not. They just like to play casino games sometimes, and don't mind paying for it. The possibility of winning makes it more exciting.

    Look at the thousands of Pogo players. They love playing the games, and the prizes (and a 10,000 pot is not half bad) add some excitement, even though the odds of winning are very slim. They pay membership fees and play for years, some regularly, some occasionally. It's just a fun pass time.

    Since these players are not part of our community, we don't much hear from them here. I hear from them at G&C with some regularity, usually asking how a specific game works or if the download is going to hurt their computer or such queries.

    These players do play a big part in the industry, they are like the walk-by traffic for a B&M store. The B&M store serves serious repeat customers as the backbone of the business, but if in a good location will make more money from the folks that stop in for a bottle of water and an energy bar.

    They are unfortunately also who supports the rogues. They will pick a casino on impulse. If the experience is bad, you won't find them spending the time to find out how to recover their money or how to avoid the problem in future, they just won't play again and tell everyone they know that online gambling is a sham.

    But the vast majority of recreational players just finds a place they like and after a couple of years they may have tried out many of the slots, or they may simply play one or two because they find the selection intimidating.

    It's these folks who like ads like the springbreak slot.

    So, I guess maybe there is a difference between a "gambler" and a "player".
     
  38. Jun 3, 2007
  39. liquidsoap

    liquidsoap Dormant account

    Occupation:
    my self
    Location:
    home
    I once that that too, but now if I lose it doesnt really matter.
    I have the money to play, if I lose it doesnt affect my finicail situation, if I win thats excellent.
    I used to get really mad when I played poker, used to throw crap all over the place. But now either I matured or I wisened up.
    If people get really mad at gambling (unless they play for living) they should not be playing. Losing is expected, nobody except KK or anyone who hit a big jackpot will ever beat a -EV game over time.
     
    4 people like this.

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