Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1229–1248 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Self-Limitation and Gambling Behavior Among German Gambling Arcade Visitors

  • Tanja StrohäkerEmail author
Original Paper


Slot machine gambling enjoys great popularity in Germany. In 2016, electronic gambling machines in arcades and pubs had a market share of 51.7% in the regulated gambling market with a gross gambling revenue of EUR 5600 million. To decrease the risks of this type of gambling, pre-commitment tools are a frequently used harm-minimization strategy. Germany has not established any formalized self-limitation program for electronic gambling machines yet. Nevertheless, many gamblers use self-initiated limits as a voluntary control strategy. This paper uses a sample of 503 German arcade gamblers to analyze the differences in gambling behavior between gamblers who self-impose limits and those who do not. The results are promising. Unappreciated demeanor, like visiting multiple arcades in a row, occurs less frequently in the group with restricted expenses and time spent in arcades. Additionally, examined gambling parameters like the average expenditure per visit, the average length of stay per visit, and the average monthly expenditure for gambling in general are significantly lower for self-limiters. As it is suspected that these findings might be systematically driven by self-efficacy traits, also a regression model is used. This approach allows to control for self-efficacy and the aforementioned results still consistently hold. Likely, the outcomes for gamblers could be further improved by using an externally binding formalized pre-commitment system. Hence, the results of the present paper could serve as a starting point to rekindle the discussion about the possible features and advantages of such a system for arcades in Germany.


Arcade gambling Gambler protection Electronic gambling machines Self-limitation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gambling Research CenterUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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