First investigation of eye-tracking in Electronic Gaming Machine play

GambleAware Media Release:

London, 26 April 2017: New research, funded by GambleAware used eye-tracking to investigate how machine players pay attention to Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) displays in local bookmaker offices.

The research, conducted by Professor Robert Rogers and colleagues at Bangor University's School of Psychology is the first study to use eye-tracking to improve our understanding of how machine players pay attention to roulette and slot games in commercial settings. The study describes the distribution of visual attention towards the game features of roulette and slots, and offers methodology for studying and optimizing the timing, placement and content of harm-minimisation messaging. The data show that problem gamblers look less often at the roulette wheel while placing bets and while it spun, compared to non-problem gamblers, and tended to look away from the machine more frequently. By contrast, in slot games, problem gamblers looked more frequently at amount-won messages.

Professor Robert Rogers said:

“Learning more about how players interact with gambling machines can help us to understand the associated risks of gambling harms. These eye-tracked data, gathered from customers playing gambling machines (FOBTs) in bookmaker shops, describe how people pay attention to game displays while playing roulette and slots; and suggest that there are subtle but potentially important differences in the way that problem gamblers interact with gambling machines compared to non-problem gamblers.”

Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware said:

“These data are the first to show that eye-tracking methodology has some potential to offer insights in machine-player interaction. Characterising machine players’ attention to machine games may aid the design of harm-minimisation measures such as pop-up messages and visible clocks and provide an important ancillary measure for testing their efficacy.”


Publication date: 26 April 2017