Gambling motivation: Comparisons across gender and preferred activity

Mal Flack, Matthew Stevens

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People gamble for emotional, social and monetary reasons. However, it remains unclear whether the relationships between these distinct aspects of gambling motivation and gambling behaviour hold across gender and types of gambling. Thus, the current study compared gambling motivation across different subgroups while taking into account problem gambling severity. A total of 4945 adults were recruited as part of the Northern Territory (Australia) population gambling survey. Of the full sample, 1207 participants (52% female) completed the Gambling Outcomes Expectancies Scale to assess gambling motivation. This subsample comprised those who scored one or more on the PGSI (n = 407) and a random sample of those who gambled at least once a year with a PGSI of zero (n = 800). The findings revealed excitement, escape and monetary expectancies increased in concert with gambling risk for both men and women, although only escape differentiated the low-risk and at-risk gamblers when other expectancies were controlled. In relation to differences across types of gambling, horse races/sports bettors rated excitement but not escape more favourably than lottery players. These findings suggest problem gambling severity should be considered when examining motivation difference by gender and that gambling motivation depends, in part, on preferred activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Gambling Studies
Issue number1
Early online date11 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


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