Understanding the relationship between subjective wellbeing and gambling behavior

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between gambling behavior and subjective wellbeing. It is often asserted that populations consist of different types of gamblers: those for whom gambling is a harmless leisure activity and those (pathological/problem gamblers) for whom the activity has harmful effects. One might, therefore, assume that subjective wellbeing will be negativity associated with an individual’s level of gambling addiction. Alternatively, gamblers may choose to gamble because they derive utility from participating in this activity and so the relationship between happiness and gambling might be positively correlated. In this paper we test this association, empirically, using data from the 2010 British Gambling Prevalence Survey. The statistically significant findings from this analysis support the hypothesis that individual wellbeing falls as gambling disorder increases.

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