M.I.T. expert explains the “zone” and how gambling machines are designed to exploit gamblers for casino and state profit.

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the importance and qualifications of Natasha Shull’s research and commented on how problem gamblers are often the focus, not the the problem machines.  In the same MIT article, Natasha comments on the flawed rational of local governments who seek to exploit people for budgetary gain:

In an effort to pull in revenue for state coffers, Massachusetts, along with several other states, including Kentucky, Illinois, and Maryland, recently had plans to license casinos, she says. “If you actually do the math, it’s not really a viable economic solution to the woes of state finance. What it offers, though, is a very tempting immediate injection of cash.”

She goes on to explain the “zone” these machines create and how they exploit gamblers:

Schull herself is not a gambler, but says she can relate to gamblers when they talk about the repetitive, absorbed relationship they enter into with the technology. “I think many of us understand what it’s like to zone out on machines.

“The experience they describe is not unlike the sense of flow people experience when they dance, paint, or write. It’s sometimes a glorious thing to be swept away by something for hours. Sometimes you come out with a wonderful product. But the gamblers don’t have a product. They emerge from the zone totally depleted — physically, mentally, and financially. They feel drained and empty. In effect, these machines exploit the very human desire to become absorbed.”

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