Legitimizing Gambling With The Power Of Words
The power of words cannot be underestimated and the knowledge of how to utilize phrasing to influence our subconscious is a powerful tool that can be exploited for both good and bad.
A fascinating new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows what a subtle change in the way we term gambling can have a massive impact on public perception. Anyone visiting online casinos would have come across the term “gaming” or “gambling”. While this at first glance does not seem to matter too much, the study shows that this change of phrasing on a website could influence the way we consumers approach playing on it.
When the word “gaming” is used it is automatically given a legitimate feel especially with new comers to gambling. Authors of the Study Ashlee Humphreys and Kathryn La Tour explain that labels using the word “Gaming” conjure up images of entertainment and fun while “gambling” prompts perceptions of crime and more shady dealings.The process of changing perceptions is called framing and this is being used more and more to legitimize real money gambling.
This subtle shift of a few letters is what has got many politicians concerned when it comes to gambling. With the line of social free-to-play online casino based games and real money games being so blurred, opponents to gambling see much more sinister motives when the term gaming is used by casino operators. The authors of the study go as far as to say that gambling companies may use social media to become a conduit for expanding online gambling simply by defining it as “gaming” and not gambling.
There is no doubt that the differences between social games and real money games on many platforms like Facebook seem to be impossible to see. The only difference is that on a whole real money gambling is still largely restricted except for the UK on social networks like Facebook. One has to ask the question of just how many social gaming companies would not instantly convert their social gaming offerings given the chance?