Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slot machine messages as misleading speech?

This NYT story discusses design features of slot machines that encourage gamblers to spend more money, including "partial win" messages given when the player has in fact lost money.  How would a ban on such messages on the grounds that they mislead players fare under current commercial speech doctrine?  Presumably the player can "see" that s/he has less money than she started out with ... and yet the machines trade on other cognitive systems that make players feel like they're winning.  Very Freudian.

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