Gambling

Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone Episode 11: Chips and Chips

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Guests: 
Mike Aponte
Guests: 
Alyson Roux
Guests: 
Diana Morgan

We explore chips: casino AND nacho cheese. First, one of the leaders of the notorious MIT card counting team, Mike Aponte handicaps Paula’s future as a high stakes gambler. And Certified Nutrition Specialist Alyson Roux helps us figure out how Paula’s diet of Doritos and Double Stuf Oreos is keeping her alive. Also, we feature new theme songs, and explore how we’re the toast of Hungary!

House band
Diana Morgan
Flute

Guests:

Mike Aponte
First Winner of the World Series of BlackJack
Leader of the MIT Card Counting Team
Card Counting Coach
Website: MikeAponte.com

Alyson Roux
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Website: AlysonRoux.com
Twitter: @alyroux
Facebook: @alysonrouxnutrition
Instagram: @alyroux

Diana Morgan
Flute
Website: DianaMorgan.net

Professor Natasha Dow Schüll On How Casinos & Slot Machines Are Designed to Facilitate Gambling Addiction

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When it comes to gambling, there's a perception people get addicted because there's always that glimmer of hope they can hit the big jackpot. But according to our podcast guest, Natasha Dow Schüll, many gamblers, and more specifically many slot machine gamblers, get addicted because they're in the "zone" - the feeling players describe when they're completely absorbed in a game. They don't really care about winning; rather they want to escape the world and become subsumed in their game.
 
Natasha, who appeared on Adam Ruins Vacations, says casinos also facilitate this addiction by designing the most optimal gambling experience which keeps gamblers playing...and playing...and playing. This ranges from the perambulant layout of the casinos themselves to the ergonomic design of the slot machine chairs, to the games' false wins that create an illusion of winning. Casinos are now even taking advantage of big data systems which track users' gambling preferences to incentivize players to stay in their chairs as long as possible. Like most other serious addictions, gambling addiction has dangerous ramifications; it can lead to divorce, bankruptcy, jail time and even suicide, so it's important that these casinos are monitored in some fashion.
 
Natasha is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is also the author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.
 

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

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