Examining the structural relationships among gambling motivation, passion, and consequences of internet sports betting

Abstract

The rise in popularity of Internet gambling has led to new gambling controversies among researchers and policymakers alike. Opponents frequently point to the negative impacts of problem gambling, while advocates tend to view this form of gambling as relatively harmless and convenient entertainment for the vast majority of participants. Interestingly, in making their points, both sides cite empirical arguments about passion for the gambling act—with opponents arguing that Internet gambling enables unhealthy obsessions, and advocates pointing to the apparent intensive interest of large numbers of Internet players. As it turns out, both sides may have a point. In this paper, we examine whether types of passion were related to types of motivation and consequences. The data were collected through a sample from an online gambling website in South Korea. We rely upon Rousseau et al.’s (J Gambl Stud 18(1):45–66, 2002) seminal work on positive and negative aspects of passion, and in the process we develop a framework for understanding positive and negative consequences of this form of gambling. The results reveal that intrinsic gambling motivations (e.g., gambling for excitement) is related to harmonious passion, which in turn results in positive consequences. Meanwhile, extrinsic gambling motivations (e.g., money) is related to obsessive passion, which in turn results in negative consequences.

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