More fruit machines and pool tables ‘isn’t a problem’

Fruit machine rental and pool table hire makes it easier and easier for venues of all kinds to offer these types of gaming machines to their customers.

Some people might consider that a cause for concern, as more gaming machines could reasonably be expected to lead to more gambling problems.

But research from the US has revealed not only that this is not the case, but that in truth, more exposure to gaming machines might be helping people to control their wagering activity.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found that, while the prevalence of fruit machines, pool tables and other gambling opportunities has increased in recent decades in the US, problem gambling rates have not.

In fact, just 3.5% of people report problem gambling – which can include just thinking about gambling a lot – and severe pathological gambling affects only around 1-2% of the population.

Meanwhile, the number of days on which people had gambled in the previous 12 months dropped from 59.9 in 1999-2000 to 53.7 in 2011-13.

The reason might be that, with gaming machines much more commonplace than in previous decades, punters are familiar with seeing them and with controlling their wagering – helping to keep gambling problems in check, and arguably making more fruit machines a good thing for all concerned.

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