Lady luck helps gamblers (lose not quite so badly)

A study on male gamblers just published in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that having a girl on your arm does bring ‘luck’ of sorts, as slot machine gamblers had fewer losses when accompanied by a female.

I am tempted to label this the ‘James Bond Effect’ but in gambling, good fortune is relative, so if you think good luck means pissing slightly less of your hard earned cash down the drain than you would have done anyway, may lady luck be your guiding light.

The study also found an interesting effect of slot machine gambling on mood: people feeling low beforehand cheered up, while those who felt happy or neutral felt worse afterwards.

Mood and Audience Effects on Video Lottery Terminal Gambling.

J Gambl Stud. 2009 Nov 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Mishra S, Morgan M, Lalumière ML, Williams RJ.

Little is known about the situational factors associated with gambling behavior. We induced 180 male participants (mean age: 21.6) into a positive, negative, or neutral mood prior to gambling on a video lottery terminal (VLT). While gambling, participants were observed by either a male peer, female peer, or no one. Induced mood had no effect on gambling behavior. Participants induced into a negative mood prior to gambling, however, reported more positive moods after gambling, whereas those with positive and neutral moods reported more negative moods after gambling. Participants observed by either a male or female peer spent less time gambling on the VLT compared to those not observed. Participants observed by a female peer lost less money relative to the other observer conditions. Degree of problem gambling in the last year had little influence on these effects. Some practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Link to summary of study on PubMed.

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