Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 697–712 | Cite as

Blue Gum Gaming Machine: An Evaluation of Responsible Gambling Features

  • Alexander Blaszczynski
  • Sally Gainsbury
  • Lisa Karlov
Original Paper


Structural characteristics of gaming machines contribute to persistence in play and excessive losses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of five proposed responsible gaming features: responsible gaming messages; a bank meter quarantining winnings until termination of play; alarm clock facilitating setting time-reminders; demo mode allowing play without money; and a charity donation feature where residual amounts can be donated rather than played to zero credits. A series of ten modified gaming machines were located in five Australian gambling venues. The sample comprised 300 patrons attending the venue and who played the gaming machines. Participants completed a structured interview eliciting gambling and socio-demographic data and information on their perceptions and experience of play on the index machines. Results showed that one-quarter of participants considered that these features would contribute to preventing recreational gamblers from developing problems. Just under half of the participants rated these effects to be at least moderate or significant. The promising results suggest that further refinements to several of these features could represent a modest but effective approach to minimising excessive gambling on gaming machines.


Electronic gaming machines Responsible gambling Excessive gambling Problem gambling Responsible gambling messages Gaming machine configuration 



Aristocrat Technologies provided financial support for the research project to be carried out in several Surf Life Saving Clubs in venues in Queensland. We wish to acknowledge the assistance of managers in allowing access to venues, and to Aristocrat Technologies for providing research funds and technical expertise. We extend our thanks to all the research assistants involved in the data collection phase of the research, and Adele de Jager for data input.

Conflict of interest

Aristocrat Leisure Industries provided financial and technical support for this study, and venue managers collaborated by allowing modified electronic gaming machines to be located on their premises. The Queensland Government’s Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, provided regulatory approval for the modification and installation of electronic gaming machines into venues.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Blaszczynski
    • 1
  • Sally Gainsbury
    • 2
  • Lisa Karlov
    • 1
  1. 1.The School of Psychology (A18)The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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