AIMS. Using the affect infusion model (AIM), this study aimed to assess the impact of prior mood on gaming persistence in regular and non-regular gamblers (assumed to be motivated and heuristic decision-makers, respectively). DESIGN, MEASURES AND SETTING. A 2 x 3 experimental design in a laboratory setting employed factors of gambler type (regular, non-regular) and prior mood (happy, neutral, depressed). Measures were number of trials played on a gambling game, and mood ratings (post-mood induction, during and after play). PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTION. Sixty regular and 60 non-regular gamblers (all male students) were assigned randomly to watch a video inducing one of the three mood conditions. They were then given AUD$10.00 to gamble in a computerized card-cutting game. FINDINGS. AIM predictions were supported: prior mood did not affect gaming persistence for regular gamblers, but non-regulars showed reduced persistence across happy, neutral and depressed moods. After-play mood ratings were related to winnings for regulars, and losing regulars were significantly more unhappy after-play compared to during-play, and compared to both their winning counterparts and non-regulars. Mood and winnings were unrelated for non-regulars, with little during- to after-play mood change. CONCLUSIONS. The findings speak to depression as a causal factor in addictive gambling. Depressed mood did not enhance persistence in regular gamblers, but rather failed to have the inhibitory effect observed in non-regular gamblers. Evidence of mood changes during gambling was obtained, although multiple measures (self-report, physiological indicators, anticipated states) of both affective valence and arousal are advocated for future studies.