Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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What Influences how New Zealanders use Information Displays? An Analysis of Electronic Gaming Machine Records

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posted on 2021-12-07, 20:44 authored by Garland Duignan, Shannon

Electronic gaming machines (slot machines) contribute to problem gambling in New Zealand and worldwide. Information displays are one harm minimisation feature of New Zealand electronic gaming machines that has been investigated in recent years. New Zealand gamblers see two types of displays: interruptive pop-up displays after a set period of time has passed, and elective displays if a player presses an information button. These displays inform the gambler about their current session with the intention that they will facilitate informed decisions about continuing play or quitting. The current study used a week-long set of electronic gaming machine data from across New Zealand to run an exploratory investigation into the utility of these information displays. We first observed that fewer than 2% of pop-up displays resulted in people quitting. On this basis it is unlikely that interruptive pop-up displays are meaningfully reducing harm. Our analysis also revealed timing differences in how pop-up displays are scheduled on machines produced by different manufacturers. The likelihood of quitting on a pop-up was influenced by complex interactions of machine and session characteristics, however these effects were small. Secondly, our investigation of elective displays also identified a low rate of access, indicating they are also unlikely to be working effectively as a harm minimisation tool. Analysis revealed players’ likelihood of accessing an elective display was mostly influenced by the venue type they were in and the manufacturer of the machine. Possible recommendations to improve both types of displays include changes to message content, scheduled timing and visual features.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Macaskill, Anne