This study investigated three different types of gamblers (recreational, problem, and pathological gamblers) to determine differences in gambling motivations and recreational activity preferences among casino gamblers. We collected data from 600 gamblers recruited in an actual gambling environment inside a major casino in South Korea. Findings indicate that motivational factors of escape, sightseeing, and winning were significantly different among these three types of gamblers. When looking at motivations to visit the casino, pathological gamblers were more likely to be motivated by winning, whereas recreational gamblers were more likely to be motivated by scenery and culture in the surrounding casino area. Meanwhile, the problem gamblers fell between these two groups, indicating higher preferences for non-gambling activities than the pathological gamblers. As this study builds upon a foundational previous study by Lee et al. (Psychiatry Investig 6(3):141-149, 2009), the results of this new study were compared with those of the previous study to see if new developments within a resort-style casino contribute to changes in motivations and recreational activity preferences.