Slot machines are games of pure chance. Originally, the machines were composed of rotating mechanical reels on which symbols were drawn. Today they have been largely replaced by video machines where the symbols scroll on a screen.
The player inserts a chip and then starts the game by pressing a lever or button. The object of the game is to get a series of identical symbols or a winning combination of symbols. The stakes are low, ranging from 1 cent to 10 euro depending on the casino.
Only slot machines in land-based casinos are legal.
Slot machines, like all gambling games except lotto, lotteries, and other traditional raffles, are prohibited for those under 18.
Slot machines are very easy to understand and offer low stakes, but they can attract vulnerable people.
They are quick-win games that encourage the player to keep playing. The rapid succession of wins and losses provides a thrill. Studies have shown that the shorter the time between the bet and the win, the greater the risk of addiction. This explains the highly addictive potential of slot machines. In addition, “near wins” (having an “almost” winning combination) and small wins are common and drive the player to play more.
Slot machines are located in casinos, places where time is not a factor. The player loses track of time, and the use of chips dematerializes the money spent, increasing the risk of losing control. The bright animations and repetitive noises emitted by the machines pace the game and encourage the player to play quickly, without thinking. The gaze of others, even if it exists, is erased by these artifices. Alone in front of the machine in this particular atmosphere, the player easily exceeds his limits.
In the case of online gambling (which is illegal because only slot machines in land-based casinos are legal), it is the isolation that can lead the player to play more. The absence of the gaze of others can confine him in an unreal atmosphere, where he has no notion of the time spent, the money spent and lost. The possibility of playing on several sites at the same time and the dematerialization of the money wagered, increase the risk of losing control.