Will players pay $10,000 for a chance to win $1,000?

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Playtech and Playtika veteran Guy Hasson is back, but in a new format. This time, instead of offering his first lessons in slots, Hasson explains a quirk in player behaviour that may be hard for some outsiders to understand.
Slot

Would a player spend $10,000 on a slot game just for a chance to win $1,000, one tenth of their spend?

The answer may be obvious to many of you, but I have recently had a discussion with a certain person in the business who did not believe me. So I thought that one person probably wasn’t the only one who thinks this way. Others in a similar situation may also benefit from the answer, and more importantly, the reasons why.

The answer is yes, yes, yes.

Let me explain; this is how real players behave:

People love to compete

First, players would participate in a slot tournament and pay many times its prize just for the chance to win its prize. The fact that on the way more money has been spent in achieving that goal does not really enter the math the players do in their heads.

Winning the prize becomes the thing, regardless of the cost. In addition, once you’ve begun and spent time and money on it, you are likely more invested to win because of that.

Players will spend to reach a bonus

Second, if players win a bonus in which they surprisingly win a huge prize, they will try to trigger that bonus (each time taking more than 100 spins) many times in order to repeat that positive experience. They may play this game for weeks, triggering the bonus hundreds of times and never repeating that big win, sinking more and more money into it, because it makes sense to them.

The same kind of behavior goes for a jackpot. Players do not need to win a jackpot to be incentivized by it. Having the big prize dangle in front of their eyes will incentivize them to play and play and play just for the tiny chance of a huge win.

The bottom line is: it isn’t logical; it’s behavioral.

It doesn’t have to make sense to you. What matters is that it makes sense to the players. And we have to know what makes sense to the players.

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