Skill-based Gaming Machines (SGMs) differ significantly from traditional electronic gaming machines (EGMs), as they incorporate an element of player skill or perceived skill, rather than relying solely on chance to determine wins and losses.

According to a new study funded by Gambling Research Australia (GRA), SGMs provide an illusion of control that significantly amplifies gamblers’ convictions that they possess the ability to influence game outcomes.

This perception has led many individuals to overestimate the role of skill in determining their wins and losses, with some viewing it as a means to gain a competitive advantage. However, this heightened belief in control could potentially expose people to heightened risks of enduring substantial long-term losses.

Alison Parkinson, Director of the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling, said SGMs had slowly been introduced in the US over the last decade and only recently introduced in Australia, where only a small number are approved on a trial or ongoing basis.

“Skill-based gambling machines represent a real change to how gaming machines operate. As with any new product, it’s important we understand whether these innovations may increase the risk of gambling harm. This study shows that skill has little impact on the outcome of these games, and that participants should be aware of their real chances of winning,” Parkinson said.

From the conclusion of the study:

  • People who already play EGMs and people who have gambling problems are most attracted to these games.
  • Our results suggest that people appear to believe they can have better control over positive outcomes on skill-based gambling machines, even though our skill-based game was designed to have no such control.
  • There was no evidence in the experiment that people bet greater amounts, bet faster overall, or persisted longer at the skill-based game when compared to the reel-based game. However, there was greater immersion in the game.
  • There was evidence that a particular cohort of people do bet more intensively on skill-based gambling machines. These include males, young people, and people with prior experience playing video games.


The complete study can be found here >>> Skill-based Gambling in Australia | Gambling Research Australia


Reduced from an article at: Australia: Study raises gambling harm concerns over illusion of control in skill-based machines | Yogonet International