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Why Gamble? Research Findings

8 August 2019, 07:52
Votes: 3

Gambling behaviour is not an easy topic to understand unless you are a professional psychologist. Many studies have been already carried out on this issue, so let us consider the results.

Why Gamble? Research Findings

In order to find out how gambling influences people’s decisions, we need to concentrate not on demographic features or various gambling sectors, but on gambling typologies, which make it possible to identify the triggers at play when people start to gamble.

The role of typologies in understanding gambling behavior

The research covered a certain number of gambling-lovers and revealed that all of them could be divided into two groups: those, who gamble for fun, and those who gamble for money. But this is a rather shallow conclusion. A deeper analysis uncovered 8 gambling categories. Each of them describes why people start gambling.

The following model describes 5 aspects of motivation:

  • desire of a huge, lifechanging win;
  • social rewards;
  • improving one’s mood due to the playing process;
  • complicated intellectual task;
  • opportunity to win at least anything.

Gambling “drivers”

When a person makes a conscious decision to gamble, it is definitely one of the 8 factors that drive him/her to do it. They can be grouped into 4 main types of play: habitual, social, passionate, and spontaneous.

Gambling “drivers”

  • Habitual play (passing the time, this is what I do) is mostly aimed at killing time. A person might not always identify why he/she is doing that again since it’s a long-term habit. And herein lies the main threat.
  • Social play (for fun, to be social) is connected with spending time with friends, competing. In two words – being social.
  • Passionate play (joy of the game, wise choice) differs from the previous two drivers. Here the gambler enjoys the very process of the game, feels the thrill and excitement.
  • Spontaneous play (for excitement, money to burn) is closer to the previous one. It makes the player feel lucky, on the roll. Or a person might simply have some extra money to burn and chooses gambling for this purpose.

Read more: States with Zero Gambling Tax on Winnings

These were triggers, provoking people to gamble. They can work separately, but also combine with one another in different ways. For instance, a routine lottery play is connected to the habitual type of play. Another example is dog racing betting since it combines the joy of the game, fun, wise decision, money to burn, and social pastime. A simple desire to win something is not the only thing driving people to gamble.


Since the number of participants in the research was not big enough, for the time being, it is hard to fully size each of them. Nevertheless, new studies are underway, so in the nearest future, it might be possible to receive more information and deepen one’s knowledge about how various motivations are connected with different types of people on various gambling occasions.  


As mentioned earlier, responsible gambling is an integral part of any gambling company’s strategy, that is why ICE Africa is also going to include this topic in the conference agenda.

Read more: Responsible Gambling: Tips for Players

Read more: 5 Most Popular Gambling Movies

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