Shutdown periods for electronic gaming machines

About the study

This report, by Snapcracker Research + Strategy, provides insight into the harm-reduction impact of time-based access to electronic gaming machines (EGMs), from the perspective of current literature as well as EGM players.

The  research methodology included:

  • A literature scan of peer-reviewed journals published since 2009 and relevant policy documents
  • aualitative research, including four group discussions with recreational and low-risk gamblers, and 24 in-depth interviews with moderate-risk and problem gamblers
  • an online survey with EGM players (n=312).

Key findings:

Overall, the research indicates that a late-night shutdown is most likely to impact problem gamblers than any other group. This is because problem gamblers are significantly more likely to play after midnight and to play for longer periods of time overall.

  • Problem gamblers are more likely to have experienced the shutdown and are more likely to travel to another venue or out of the local area to continue play.
  • Most people who gamble believe that a shutdown period is a good idea.
  • Late at night seems to be the best time to consider any shutdown.
  • A  minimum shutdown period of four hours seems to be supported by most people who gamble.
  • Maintaining a uniform shutdown time period seems critical to minimising gambling-related harm.

Findings from this review will inform policy and prevention efforts, as well as the direction of future research on the harm-reduction impact of time-based access to EGMs.

Read the report

How to cite this report

Smith, C., Wolstenholme, A. & Duffy, C. (2019). Shutdown periods for electronic gaming machines. [Snapcracker Research + Strategy]. Commissioned by New South Wales Responsible Gambling Fund, Sydney.