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Classification of Slot
Machines in Ontario
Providing Relevant
Information to Players
Dr. Kevin Harrigan, University of Wat...
2
Agenda
• Introduction & Motivation
• The end “product”
• Design process
• Research study
• Discussion of collaborative “...
Introduction & Motivation
3
4
COLLABORATIVE PROJECT
5
MOTIVATION
• Responsible Gambling initiative
• This is a knowledge Translation and Exchange Initiative
• Inform players ...
6
FOCUS GROUPS: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A SLOT MACHINE?
“I have no strategy. I choose the cute ones,
flashing lights, shiny like...
7
ROLES
• uWaterloo – Conduct research study
• OPGRC/GREO – Provided funding
• OLG – Support/lead project in-situ
• FCB – ...
The end “product”
8
9
Three Structural Characteristics
• Play Experience – Frequency and size of payouts (volatility)
• Bonus Round Frequency ...
10
Three sample labels: Specific to each machine
11
12
13
14
EMPLOYEE TRAINING MATERIALS
15
EMPLOYEE CHEAT SHEET
16
SUPPORTING COMMUNICATIONS
17
ON-SITE POSTERS
18
DIGITAL SIGNAGE
19
DIGITAL SIGNAGE
20
GENERATE PLAYER AWARENESS AND INTEREST
21
CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCES
22
IN PROGRESS
• Playsmart.ca
• Social Media (Facebook & Twitter)
• Email to Winner’s Circle members
• Winner’s Circle hom...
Design process
23
24
THE PROCESS
Initial player focus groups tested six structural
characteristics:
• Odds of winning
• Payback percentage
•...
25
THE PROCESS
Based on findings, second round of focus groups tested five
characteristics:
• Odds of winning
• Payback pe...
26
THE PROCESS
Stakeholder Consultations
• Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
• Responsible Gambling Council (R...
27
LABEL TESTING
28
“Love it. Every machine everywhere should
have it. People should be aware of the pay
percentages and this label is very...
29
More Testing
• We chose Grand River Slots in Elora as our pilot site:
• Testing with Winners Circle members at Elora
• ...
30
BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE FOR RESEARCHERS
• Payback Percentage vs The Hold
• Most important for researchers
• It is what...
31
OTHER CHALLENGES
• Subjectivity of classification between vendors
• Play experience varies based on number of lines bet...
Research Study
32
33
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Pre and Post assessment
• Pre: Before labels are installed
• Post: 6 weeks after labels are inst...
34
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Pre and post questionnaires
• Demographics
• Problem Gambling Severity Index
• Random events kno...
35
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Player and Machine data
• Three months pre- and post-
• Provided by OLG
36
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Player data (not finalized)
• Date played
• Game
• Game theme
• Coin in
• Coin out
• Average bet
37
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Machine data
• Machine
• Classification
• Theme
• Hold
• Utilization
• Average Bet
• Coin In
38
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
• For Research Study
• Players understand the three structural characteristics
of slot machines
• F...
Discussion of collaborative “research” projects
39
40
Timeframe
Initial start date: March 15, 2014
Initial end date: Oct 15, 2014
Current end date: June 30, 2017
Collaborati...
41
Reflections on Collaboration
• Difficult for us to run research study over 3 years
• Teaching terms
• Original study da...
42
Reflections on Collaboration
• Researchers have lack of control vs a lab study
• Researchers attended by did not conduc...
43
IT’S HAPPENING NOW! STAY TUNED
• Pre-test this week (Feb 20 start)
• Labels and material installed next weekend
• Post-...
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Dr. Dan Brown, Kevin Harrigan & Melissa Sleightholm

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Classification of Slot Machines in Ontario: Providing Relevant Information to Players

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Dr. Dan Brown, Kevin Harrigan & Melissa Sleightholm

  1. 1. Classification of Slot Machines in Ontario Providing Relevant Information to Players Dr. Kevin Harrigan, University of Waterloo Melissa Sleightholm, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Dr. Dan Brown, University of Waterloo
  2. 2. 2 Agenda • Introduction & Motivation • The end “product” • Design process • Research study • Discussion of collaborative “research” projects
  3. 3. Introduction & Motivation 3
  4. 4. 4 COLLABORATIVE PROJECT
  5. 5. 5 MOTIVATION • Responsible Gambling initiative • This is a knowledge Translation and Exchange Initiative • Inform players about slot machine structural characteristics • With knowledge, players can make more informed choices
  6. 6. 6 FOCUS GROUPS: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A SLOT MACHINE? “I have no strategy. I choose the cute ones, flashing lights, shiny like Wheel of Fortune - it is so big. I play Sex in the City too. I play 5 cents to $1. Usually there are a lot of people, oh maybe that is good… these people probably know what they are doing so just going to follow the herd. ” “The mini games, with bonuses, I go to those, they will give you 10 spins for free, you are not hitting it, but you can still play…I am not there to gamble, I am there to entertain myself. ” “Either price or intuition, I will look at a machine and have a good feeling about, that good feeling in your gut. I will give it a shot. Sometimes I will end up at slot machines I don’t even know the name of but I am just there because I had a feeling.” “If it is high, $500, I will cash out and put back $100 back to trick the machine, and pretend like I am a new person, and I win. ”
  7. 7. 7 ROLES • uWaterloo – Conduct research study • OPGRC/GREO – Provided funding • OLG – Support/lead project in-situ • FCB – Design and create all materials
  8. 8. The end “product” 8
  9. 9. 9 Three Structural Characteristics • Play Experience – Frequency and size of payouts (volatility) • Bonus Round Frequency – how likely to trigger a bonus round • Hold Percentage – the percentage of wagers that goes to the operator
  10. 10. 10 Three sample labels: Specific to each machine
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. 14 EMPLOYEE TRAINING MATERIALS
  15. 15. 15 EMPLOYEE CHEAT SHEET
  16. 16. 16 SUPPORTING COMMUNICATIONS
  17. 17. 17 ON-SITE POSTERS
  18. 18. 18 DIGITAL SIGNAGE
  19. 19. 19 DIGITAL SIGNAGE
  20. 20. 20 GENERATE PLAYER AWARENESS AND INTEREST
  21. 21. 21 CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCES
  22. 22. 22 IN PROGRESS • Playsmart.ca • Social Media (Facebook & Twitter) • Email to Winner’s Circle members • Winner’s Circle home page • Winner’s Circle Newsletter
  23. 23. Design process 23
  24. 24. 24 THE PROCESS Initial player focus groups tested six structural characteristics: • Odds of winning • Payback percentage • Play experience • Slot cycle • Number of top awards per slot cycle • Bonus round hit frequency
  25. 25. 25 THE PROCESS Based on findings, second round of focus groups tested five characteristics: • Odds of winning • Payback percentage • Hold percentage • Play experience • Bonus round hit frequency
  26. 26. 26 THE PROCESS Stakeholder Consultations • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) • Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) • GREO • OLG Gaming Operations • Ontario problem gambling counsellors
  27. 27. 27 LABEL TESTING
  28. 28. 28 “Love it. Every machine everywhere should have it. People should be aware of the pay percentages and this label is very detailed to allow a person to make an informative decision on what machine they want to play” “I think it is a great idea, it would definitely help me decide if I wanted to play or not” “I like the concept. It will help me find the right game for my needs at the time” “Loved it! Would be very helpful in choosing games that suit the way I want to play” “Far too much information. Overwhelming cluster of text and charts” “Add some colour” “Too much to read on label” “A lot of information in one place, a little much”
  29. 29. 29 More Testing • We chose Grand River Slots in Elora as our pilot site: • Testing with Winners Circle members at Elora • Testing with Staff at Elora
  30. 30. 30 BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE FOR RESEARCHERS • Payback Percentage vs The Hold • Most important for researchers • It is what makes this a RG research study • Players confused by it • Staff confused by it • Changed throughout our design process • Finally used The Hold as it speaks to losses
  31. 31. 31 OTHER CHALLENGES • Subjectivity of classification between vendors • Play experience varies based on number of lines bet • Multi-themed slots – multiple play experiences, holds, and bonus rounds • Placement on slot machine • Do players understand the information?
  32. 32. Research Study 32
  33. 33. 33 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Pre and Post assessment • Pre: Before labels are installed • Post: 6 weeks after labels are installed • 80 Participants each assessment • Across Winners Circle membership levels
  34. 34. 34 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Pre and post questionnaires • Demographics • Problem Gambling Severity Index • Random events knowledge test • Resistance to change • Content – label concepts • Beliefs about OLG • Approaches to gambling • Total of 115 questions
  35. 35. 35 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Player and Machine data • Three months pre- and post- • Provided by OLG
  36. 36. 36 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Player data (not finalized) • Date played • Game • Game theme • Coin in • Coin out • Average bet
  37. 37. 37 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Machine data • Machine • Classification • Theme • Hold • Utilization • Average Bet • Coin In
  38. 38. 38 MEASURES OF SUCCESS • For Research Study • Players understand the three structural characteristics of slot machines • For OLG • Players make informed choices
  39. 39. Discussion of collaborative “research” projects 39
  40. 40. 40 Timeframe Initial start date: March 15, 2014 Initial end date: Oct 15, 2014 Current end date: June 30, 2017 Collaboration takes time!
  41. 41. 41 Reflections on Collaboration • Difficult for us to run research study over 3 years • Teaching terms • Original study dates were over the summer • Sabbatical • Our semesters don’t always align well with a 3-year study • Complications with OPGRC becoming GREO • Requests for extensions • Requests for budget adjustments
  42. 42. 42 Reflections on Collaboration • Researchers have lack of control vs a lab study • Researchers attended by did not conduct focus groups • Researchers did not attend testing with Winner’s Circle members in Elora • Researchers did not attend testing with staff at Elora
  43. 43. 43 IT’S HAPPENING NOW! STAY TUNED • Pre-test this week (Feb 20 start) • Labels and material installed next weekend • Post-test the week of April 10

Classification of Slot Machines in Ontario: Providing Relevant Information to Players

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