games are presented. This environment includes such factors as informational variations in advertising and instructions, visual differences in the architecture of casinos, and what interface designers call the "form factor" of games (e.g., whether the slot machine has an arm or buttons, takes coins or reads plastic cards, and so forth). Advertising and other information affect what people know about gambling and how they think about it. For instance, lottery organizations publicize winners of big jackpots and use slogans that emphasize the pleasures of playing and winning (see Michael, 1993). Casinos design their architecture to make customers feel as though they are visiting a fantastic, but legitimate world (along the lines of Disneyland); rooms, lighting, sound, and the array of game areas are meant to create feelings of welcome, excitement, comfort, and luxury (Skea, 1995; Kranes, 1995).
Research on working memory and the consequences of cognitive load suggest that gambling situations with many distractions cause changes in how people make decisions and judgments. Generally, this research shows that multiple conflicting stimuli, multiple calls on attention, and noisy environments cause increases in cognitive load (effort of processing information and using working memory), which in turn cause people to process information using guesses and stereotypes and to respond more automatically to stimuli (Gopher and Donchin, 1986). Casinos, racetracks, and increasingly lines at multistate lottery venues feature crowds and crowd suspense and a celebratory atmosphere. Casinos have large rooms, lines of noisy machines, the sound of coins spilling into trays, flashing neon lights, multimedia presentations, loud announcements over the sound system, and the smells of food, perfume, and alcohol (Skea, 1995; Hirsch, 1995). This barrage of distracting stimuli is likely to induce high levels of cognitive load, which in turn could reduce introspection, increase the use of guessing in gambles, and more generally encourage thoughtless gambling.
Legalization is assumed to dramatically change the organization and technology of gambling as new businesses enter the mar-