Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 105–116 | Cite as

Anticipated Regret, Risk Perception, or Both: Which is Most Likely Responsible for Our Intention to Gamble?

  • Shu Li
  • Kun Zhou
  • Yue Sun
  • Li-Lin Rao
  • Rui Zheng
  • Zhu-Yuan Liang
Original Paper


The current study investigated whether risk aversion or regret aversion could be related to a lower intention to gamble, and whether the type of gambling was a moderator of this relationship. The study took place in Macau, often called “the Las Vegas of East Asia.” A total of 373 Macau residents completed a questionnaire survey dealing with thirteen types of gambling. The results showed that risk perception and anticipated regret had a significant negative effect on the intention to gamble. This negative effect was domain-specific, varying with the type of gambling. Our findings indicated that neither risk aversion nor regret aversion can uniquely explain an individual’s risk-taking tendency consistently. Instead, which factor plays a greater role in lowering the intention to gamble—regret aversion, risk aversion, or both—is itself dependent on the type of gambling involved. The finding that not all gambles are created equal could be useful in gambling prevention and advertising appeal by providing a basis for understanding the role that cognitive and emotional factors play in different types of gambling.


Risk perception Anticipated regret Intention to gamble Type of gambling Moderator effect 



This research was partially supported by the “Hundred Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KSCX2-YW-R-130), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70671099, 70701036 and 70871110). We are indebted to the respondents for their participation in the survey; to Jie-Hong Xu and Yan-Ling Bi for their discussions; to Zhong-Lin Wen and Xi Liu for statistical assistance; to Alexei Nowak for assistance with English; and to two anonymous referees for helpful comments on the initial version.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu Li
    • 1
  • Kun Zhou
    • 2
  • Yue Sun
    • 3
  • Li-Lin Rao
    • 2
  • Rui Zheng
    • 1
  • Zhu-Yuan Liang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Psychology, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Faculty of Management and Administration, Macau University of Science and TechnologyMacauChina

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