NEWS: Speaker Draws Attention to Gaming and Gambling

Did you know that online gaming can lead to gambling? Or that the loot boxes in computer games produce the same feeling in the brain as winning on a slot machine? These are a few of the fascinating facts that were revealed during two gambling awareness events organized by COCA on March 26. Presenter Daniel Trolaro, the Assistant Executive Director for the Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, gave a dynamic presentation on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Gaming & Gambling. He spoke at Kutztown University in the morning and at Reading’s DoubleTree Hotel in the evening.

Here are a few of the many facts discussed by Trolaro in his information packed, hour-long presentation.

  • Loot Boxes in video games are Random Reward Mechanisms that “hook” players and keep them wanting to play more. Although it feels like the player is in control, the mechanism is actually random, and the randomness makes it feel like gambling. Rewards allow players to advance or add value or status within the game.
  • 67% of households own a device used to play video games.
  • The average gamer is 35 years old.
  • In Seoul, South Korea, e-gaming can be watched at a stadium.
  • Women tend to play social games, such as Words With Friends, many of which have in-app purchases. A 1-800 Gambler hot-line caller reported that his wife had lost $50,000 playing Wheel of Fortune.
  • 53 % of gamers play multi-player games at least once a week, spending an average of six hours playing with others online and five hours playing with others in person.
  • The earlier one starts gaming and gambling, the higher the likelihood of developing a problem.

In addition to Trolaro’s presentation, COCA also recognized the winners of a student poster contest on the theme of Gaming and Gambling. The first place entry is below:

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