Why is Slot Machine Gambling Considered "The Crack Cocaine" of Gambling Addiction?

Why is slot machine gambling so addictive? Why is it coined the “crack cocaine of addiction”? Why is slot machine gambling considered to be the MOST addictive form of gambling that exists today?

I will try to answer these questions in this article. The questions are quite significant, and the answers can help to explain why so many people have gotten hooked on the “slots”, “pokies”, and “fruit machines”.

Slot machines use what is known to psychological behaviorists as “intermittent reinforcement” Basically, what this means is that a winning hand on a slot machine only happens sometimes.

This type of reinforcement is known to be very powerful because an individual is only rewarded at certain intervals. This can create an addictive reaction , resulting obsession quite easily. When you reward only sometimes., it is sure to create an obsessive reaction.

In addition, studies have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays an important role in developing a gambling addiction. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” chemical. The illusions of patterns in slot machines, and the intermittent winning spins create a rush of dopamine in the brain that makes people desire continued play.

You have probably heard in the past that gambling addicts are “addicted to the action”and not really as interested in winning money like they may think they are. This is because the dopamine rush is so powerful and pleasurable, that the action of gambling becomes euphoric in its’ own right. It is a means it itself rather than a means to an end.

The role of dopamine is in the brain is very significant and powerful. Individuals with Parkinsons Diseases who were taking medications to increase dopamine in their brains were becoming addicted to gambling, specifically, slot machine gambling. Once these individuals stopped the medication, their addictive and obsessive gambling stopped. This happened to a significant amount of people taking these types of medications.

Slot machine addiction is considered to be the “crack cocaine” of gambling for a few different reasons.

Crack cocaine is one of the most highly addictive drugs that exists today. Slot machine gambling is also considered to be the most addictive form of gambling… hands down.

The two can also be compared to each other because of the very quick, accelerating progression of the addiction. A person can hit total despair and devastation with a slot machine addiction in one to three years. Other forms of gambling do not accelerate as quickly.

Another comparison is how both forms of addiction can create such debasement, despondency and despair because of the power and intensity of the addictive substance/behavior.

Stealing, prostitution, drugs, loss of job, marriage, and finances are common with both of these addictions. You may have heard horror stories of individuals with either of these addictions. These stories are all too common.

As you can see, it is very easy to compare slot machine addiction to crack cocaine addiction. The common characteristics of both addictions is quite impressive.

Why is Slot Machine Addiction Considered The MOST Addictive Form of Gambling?

This question is related to the above two areas that I have covered, except for a few other concepts which I believe are worth noting:

o Slot machines are designed by psychologists and other specialists who are specifically instructed to design slot machines to seduce and addict people.

o The new video mulit-line electronic slot machines have graphics and colors that are very compelling and stimulating to the eye.

o The music in video slot machines is very stimulating, repetitive, seductive , and truly reinforcing. There is strong subliminal suggestion in this.

o The bonus rounds in video slot machines can encourage continued play, even amidst great losses, since bonus rounds are very exciting and provide a rush.

o The speed of play, and the speed of modern slot machines keeps your adrenaline pumping, especially with all of the above factors.

o The jackpots in slot machines can be huge, however, the chances of winning these jackpots are equivalent to winning the powerball lottery, if not more improbable.

o Slot machines can be a place to “zone out”. Today’s slot machines can put you into a hypnotizing trance that is hard to break out of.

o Slot machines require little or no skill, making it easy to just sit there and push the buttons, without a thought, forethought, or contemplation.

o It is very easy to keep playing slot machines because all accept dollar bills, and give players coupons upon ending play. Money loses its’ value and becomes “monopoly” money.

o ATM Machines are usually in close proximity to the slot machines, again, encouraging continued play.

o Many slot machines use denominations of 1 cent to 5 cents. This fools the gambler into thinking that they are not spending much. What is not being said, however, is that the maximum bet can be as high as $15 to $20 per spin. Is this really a penny or nickel machine?

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation From the Crime Lab to the Slot Floor

If you were a fan of CBS’s top rated TV show CSI, you were among a global audience of millions who regularly watched the crime lab team use state of the art forensic technology to solve grisly murders. In 2012 CSI was given the International Audience Award as the most watched show in the world.

The timing was perfect for IGT (International Game Technology) to unveil its latest creation at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas: the CSI Slot Machine. The popular three in one penny slot enjoyed a run at 98 casinos throughout the country. Although the CSI slot is not as popular as it once was, you can still find them in many gaming jurisdictions.

How to Play

The format is a 5 reel 30 line penny video slot with bonus features. One to five credits can be wagered to play all 30 lines. The minimum bet is $.40 (one cent for each line plus ten cents to cover the bonus features). The maximum bet is $2.00 per spin when five credits are wagered. The top jackpot is $2,250 with max credits and $450 if you’re frugal and bet the minimum.

To get started (after you insert your money of course) simply swipe the screen as you would your I-Pad or smart phone, and select your game of choice, CSI Vegas, CSI NY, or CSI Miami. Your favorite show characters will appear on the reel symbols and touch screen that has the latest LCD technology and 3D graphics. Audio, video clips and music replicate the version selected. The volume is adjustable as you hear the great rock group, The Who, playing the shows’ theme(s). Your chair will even vibrate when certain symbols appear with a payout. You can even switch games during play.

Bonus Features

Each version has three bonus features: Trace Evidence, Crime Scene, and Crime Lab. When a Trace Evidence symbol is triggered on the fifth reel, the screen goes dark and extra wild symbols suddenly appear which initiate multipliers with lager payouts. When three Crime Scene photo symbols appear, you start selecting clues on a touch screen at a gruesome crime scene. Each clue is hiding bonus credits behind pieces of evidence. Discover three or more pieces and you’re at the Crime Lab, where you watch forensic evidence being unlocked as you unlock free spins. Each strand of DNA evidence found will increase the multiplier on the free spins.

As an infrequent player of slots but a former follower of CSI, I have to say that this game is a lot of fun.

Good Luck!