Research suggests there is a strong relationship between gambling severity and endorsing gambling as an escape. The present study investigated what factors were related to endorsing gambling as an escape. In Experiment 1, 149 university students completed a questionnaire designed to measure the contingencies maintaining one's gambling and a measure of executive function. Endorsing gambling as an escape was predicted by executive function associated with affect (empathy). In Experiment 2, 269 university students completed a questionnaire of the contingencies maintaining one's gambling and two measures related to affect (current affective state and pattern of emotion regulation). Impulse control related to dealing with negative emotions was unique in predicting gambling as an escape. The results suggest that endorsing gambling as an escape is related to emotion regulation both at a neurological and cognitive level, which is potentially informative for those interested in identifying, preventing and treating problem gambling.