Desire thinking is a voluntary cognitive process involving verbal and imaginal elaboration of a desired target. A desired target can relate to an object, an internal state or an activity, such as gambling. This study investigated the role of desire thinking in gambling in a cohort of participants recruited from community and clinical settings. Ninety five individuals completed a battery of self-report measures consisting of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Gambling Craving Scale (GCS), the Desire Thinking Questionnaire (DTQ) and the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS). Correlation analyses revealed that gender, educational level, recruitment source, anxiety and depression, craving and desire thinking were correlated with gambling. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that both recruitment source and desire thinking were the only independent predictors of gambling when controlling for all other study variables, including craving. These findings are discussed in the light of metacognitive therapy (MCT).