Survey data from several countries indicate that public attitudes toward gambling and its deregulation are negative, or at best ambivalent. However, comparative studies on the attitudes of gamblers themselves have not been conducted, despite the valuable firsthand experience with gambling institutions that these people have. Using qualitative group interview data from recreational gamblers in France and Finland, the study asked how players from two different gambling contexts experience their national gambling arrangements. The study found that although gambling is government regulated in both countries, the Finnish respondents were generally content with their national gambling system while the French were highly critical and supported greater protective measures. The way in which gambling is experienced, and the degree to which national gambling policies are accepted among players, depend not only on objective structures, but also on the institutional and cultural context in which gambling takes place.