Do gambling game choices reflect a recreational gambler’s motivations?

Lindridge, Andrew; Beatty, Sharon E. and Northington, William Magnus (2018). Do gambling game choices reflect a recreational gambler’s motivations? Qualitative Market Research: an international journal, 21(3) pp. 296–315.



Gambling is increasingly a global phenomenon, derided by some as exploitative and viewed by others as entertainment. Despite extensive research into gambling motivations, previous research has not assessed whether gaming choice is a function of one’s personal motivations or simply a desire to gamble in general, regardless of game choice among recreational gamblers. We explore this theme by considering “illusion of control” where luck and skill may mediate gambling motivation.

This study applies two motivation theories: Hedonic Consumption Theory (HCT) and Motivation Disposition Theory (MDT), as well as examining heuristic perspectives related to gambling. Three stages of qualitative data collection were undertaken.

Our findings indicate that for recreational gamblers, gaming choice is a function of personal motives. Hence, gamblers chose games that reflect their needs or motives, focusing on the game or games that best allow them to achieve their goals and desires.

These findings shed light on an important topic and include an in-depth examination of recreational gamblers’ motivations. Further quantitative examinations should be considered.

This research could be used by practitioners or researchers in better segmenting the casino recreational gambling market.

While many researchers have examined gambling motivations and even gambling motivations by venue (e.g., casino versus online), few researchers have focused on gamblers’ choice of games and even fewer have studied recreational gamblers’ motivations with a qualitatively rich approach, resulting in some useful perspectives on drivers of recreational gamblers by personal motives.

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