Academic journal article Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods

The Influence of Casino Architecture and Structure on Problem Gambling Behaviour: An Examination Using Virtual Reality Technology

Academic journal article Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods

The Influence of Casino Architecture and Structure on Problem Gambling Behaviour: An Examination Using Virtual Reality Technology

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The goal of the current research was to examine how specific décor elements of gambling environments influence emotions engendered within a gaming setting and consequently affect problem gambling behaviour. Studies of vulnerability to develop problem gambling behaviour have tended to focus on biological, social, emotional, cognitive and gambling machine factors, while neglecting the role of environmental variables. Yet environmental features may combine to "trigger" the cognitive and behavioral consequences underlying problem gambling (Sharpe and Tarrier 1993). The Productivity Commission Inquiry into Australian Gambling Industries (1999) recognized the centrality of environmental factors in the constellation of influences on problem gambling: "we are referring to environmentally induced conditions which contribute to disassociating the person from the reality of the time and money spent, altering the states of mood or level of arousal and facilitating the opportunity to chase losses" (p. 188).

Several studies have been conducted examining the effects of casino environment as they interact with gambler personality on gambling behaviour (Finlay, Kanetkar, Londerville and Marmurek 2006; Finlay, Marmurek, Kanetkar and Londerville 2007; Marmurek, Finlay, Kanetkar and Londerville 2007). Two over-arching macro casino designs have been identified - the playground which corresponds to the form of casino design preferred by one consultant (Kranes 1995) and the gaming design, corresponding to the design prescription of a former casino manager (Friedman 2000). According to Kranes (1995), the challenge of casino design is to create legible spaces (i.e., where all design elements are recognizable) that are well ordered with familiar, pleasing and natural elements (e.g., vegetation, water, sky design). Ceilings should be high with generous spacing among the structures within the casino. In contrast, Friedman (2000) identifies 13 principles of casino design that converge on the gambling equipment as the focus of the décor. Design features conforming to those principles include low ceilings and an absence of signage above machines that might draw the eye upwards, away from the machines. A gaming design casino would be divided into small, compact gambling areas with short, maze-like pathways.

We have identified two measures of emotional and cognitive effects that are impacted by environmental variations. At-risk gambling intentions (ARGIS) is a measure developed to gauge the extent to which individuals anticipate that they would gamble more money and spend more time than planned in a gambling situation (Finlay et al. 2006). Restoration (REST) is a cognitive state where the effects of mental fatigue are offset and there is an opportunity for attention mechanisms to replenish (Kaplan 1987). Gambling, such as playing slot machines, requires a high degree of directed attention that may lead to mental exhaustion. Repetitive decisions are necessary including those regarding the number of lines to play and the number of credits to bet per line. Expressions of mental fatigue include difficulty in directing attention to the task at hand and being "more likely to take risks, be impulsive and impatient" (Kaplan, Kaplan and Ryan 1998, p. 17). Restorative elements within an environment (e.g., a tropical beach onto which waves are lapping) will attract involuntary attention. The effect of restorative elements, therefore, is to interrupt the directed attention afforded to the monotonous task and refresh cognition.

The effects of several décor elements have been examined within each of the gaming and playground designs on emotional reactions and judgments about gambling behaviour. In one study, gamblers responded to video simulations of casino scenarios varying in lighting, colouring, design layout and sounds. Variations in décor elements determined how positively gamblers judged the scenario; moreover, those judgments were directly related to estimates of the likelihood of excessive gambling behaviour (Finlay, Marmurek, Kanetkar and Londerville 2010). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.