You cannot spend as much time writing about slot machines as I do without considering the issues of addiction and compulsion. One is for sure, I do not believe slot machines are addictive. That is not to say that I believe people with compulsive gambling disorders or making excuses for their poor financial decisions, but I do believe there to be a profound difference between compulsion and addiction. Addiction is a physical dependency in which the body begins to rely on a certain chemical. Compulsion can be just as dangerous if applied correctly. As affective as compulsion is, I still have to question whether I think slot machines should be condemned for feeding on a person’s compulsive behavior.
If slot machines, or one armed bandits, are so evil because they make profit off of a person compulsive behavior many of the products on our current market are just as evil. It is not uncommon to hear a television sales pitch demand that a consumer “Buy Now” to capitalize on a big deal. Also the fact that certain products in a grocery store, like candy and gum, are conveniently stationed next to cash registers in hope that people will pick them up as an impulse buy. Now just because slot machines have manage to become one of the most successful devices to take advantage of the impulse buy or compulsion, it is unfair to call the games evil or dangerous. I have hard time condemning an industry that is successfully using a widely used business model.