Chances, trances and lots of slots: Gambling motives and consumption experiences

Abstract

Why do gamblers spend their leisure time and money on gambling? The motives of gamblers are explored using data collected in a casino via ethnographic participant observation. The interpretation presented here combines data with insights from prior research and theories of gambling and experiential consumption. Gambling motives are presented in a three-dimensional typology showing that motives for consuming gambling experiences include learning and evaluating, seeking a "rush", self-definition, risk-taking, cognitive selfclassification, emotional self-classification, competing, and communing. The research thus advances understanding of gambling beyond previously hypothesized economic, symbolic, and hedonic motives. Although created in a gambling domain, the typology presented has more general implications for how leisure consumption is treated both theoretically and empirically in future research.

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