Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 1833–1847 | Cite as

Differential Gambling Motivations and Recreational Activity Preferences Among Casino Gamblers

  • Choong-Ki Lee
  • Bo Jason Bernhard
  • Jungsun Kim
  • Timothy Fong
  • Tae Kyung Lee
Original Paper


This study investigated three different types of gamblers (recreational, problem, and pathological gamblers) to determine differences in gambling motivations and recreational activity preferences among casino gamblers. We collected data from 600 gamblers recruited in an actual gambling environment inside a major casino in South Korea. Findings indicate that motivational factors of escape, sightseeing, and winning were significantly different among these three types of gamblers. When looking at motivations to visit the casino, pathological gamblers were more likely to be motivated by winning, whereas recreational gamblers were more likely to be motivated by scenery and culture in the surrounding casino area. Meanwhile, the problem gamblers fell between these two groups, indicating higher preferences for non-gambling activities than the pathological gamblers. As this study builds upon a foundational previous study by Lee et al. (Psychiatry Investig 6(3):141–149, 2009), the results of this new study were compared with those of the previous study to see if new developments within a resort-style casino contribute to changes in motivations and recreational activity preferences.


Motivation Consumer psychology Casino gamblers Recreational activity preference Pathological gamblers 


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-IV-TR (4th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatry Association.Google Scholar
  2. Back, K. J., Lee, C. K., & Stinchfield, R. (2011). Gambling motivation and passion: A comparison study of recreational and pathological gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 27(3), 355–370.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernhard, B. J., Dickens, D. R., & Shapiro, P. D. (2007). Gambling alone? A study of solitary and social gambling in America. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 11(2), 1–13.Google Scholar
  4. Bernhard, B. J., Futrell, R., & Harper, A. (2009). Gambling and globalization: Sociological perspectives on ‘the House’ and ‘the Players’. Sociology Compass, 3(4), 616–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blue, L. (2010). Is exercise the best drug for depression? Time Inc. Retrieved from,8599,1998021-2,00.html. Accessed on November 10, 2014.
  6. Chantal, Y., Vallerand, R. J., & Vallieres, E. F. (1995). Motivation and gambling involvement. The Journal of Social Psychology, 135(6), 755–763.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cotte, J. (1997). Chances, trances, and lots of slots: Gambling motives and consumption experiences. Journal of Leisure Research, 29(4), 380–406.Google Scholar
  8. Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., & Michaud, V. (2004). Comparisons between the South Oaks Gambling Screen and a DSM-IV-based interview in a community survey of problem gambling. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(4), 258–264.Google Scholar
  9. Desai, R. A., Maciejewski, P. K., Dausey, D. J., Caldarone, B. J., & Potenza, M. N. (2004). Health correlates of recreational gambling in older adults. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(9), 1672–1679.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dishman, R. K., & O’Connor, P. J. (2009). Lessons in exercise neurobiology: the case of endorphins. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 2(1), 4–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Driver, B. L., Brown, P. J., & Peterson, G. L. (1991). Benefits of leisure. In Preliminary drafts of the chapters in this volume were presented at a workshop of the authors in Snowbird, Utah, May 1991. PA: Venture publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Esch, T., & Stefano, G. B. (2010). Endogenous reward mechanisms and their importance in stress reduction, exercise and the brain. Archives of Medical Science, 6(3), 447–455.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fisher, S. (1993). The pull of the fruit machine: A sociological typology of young players. The Sociological Review, 41(3), 446–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Freitas-Swerts, F. C., & Robazzi, M. L. (2014). The effects of compensatory workplace exercises to reduce work-related stress and musculoskeletal pain. Revista Latino Americana Enfermagem, 22(4), 629–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hair, J. F., Tatham, R. L., Anderson, R. E., & Black, W. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Hardoon, K., Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (2003). Empirical measures vs. perceived gambling severity among youth: Why adolescent problem gamblers fail to seek treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 28(5), 933–946.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Koob, G. F. (2014). Neurocircuitry of alcohol addiction: Synthesis from animal models. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 125, 33–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Korean Casino Association. (2014). Statistics of casino visitors and revenues. Seoul: Korean Casino Association.Google Scholar
  19. Lakey, C. E., Goodie, A. S., Lance, C. E., Stinchfield, R., & Winters, K. C. (2007). Examining DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling: Psychometric properties and evidence from cognitive biases. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(4), 479–498.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee, C. K., Chung, N. H., & Bernhard, B. J. (2013). Examining the structural relationships among gambling motivation, passion, and consequences of Internet sports betting. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10899-013-9400-y.
  21. Lee, C. K., Lee, B. K., Bernhard, B. J., & Lee, T. K. (2009). A comparative study of involvement and motivation among casino gamblers. Psychiatry Investigation, 6(3), 141–149.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee, C. K., Lee, Y. K., Bernhard, B. J., & Yoon, Y. S. (2006). Segmenting casino gamblers by motivation: A cluster analysis of Korean gamblers. Tourism Management, 27(5), 856–866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Loroz, P. S. (2004). Golden-age gambling: Psychological benefits and self-concept dynamics in aging consumers’ consumption experiences. Psychology & Marketing, 21(5), 323–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Melancon, M. O., Lorrain, D., & Dionne, I. J. (2014). Changes in markers of brain serotonin activity in response to chronic exercise in senior men. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 39(11), 1250–1256.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Metheny, W. P., & Smith, R. P. (1989). The relationship among exercise, stress, and primary dysmenorrhea. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(6), 569–586.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Neighbors, C., Lostutter, T. W., Cronce, J. M., & Larimer, M. E. (2002). Exploring college student gambling motivation. Journal of Gambling Studies, 18(4), 361–370.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Nunnally, J., & Bernstein, I. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  28. Platz, L., & Millar, M. (2001). Gambling in the context of other recreation activity: A quantitative comparison of casual and pathological student gamblers. Journal of Leisure Research, 33(4), 383–395.Google Scholar
  29. Segni, M. D., Patrono, E., Patella, L., Puglisi-Allegra, S., & Ventura, R. (2014). Animal models of compulsive eating behavior. Nutrients, 6(10), 4591–4609.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Tarras, J., Singh, A., & Moufakkir, O. (2000). The profile and motivations of elderly women gamblers. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 5(1), 33–46.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, S. B., Anglin, J. M., Paode, P. R., Riggert, A. G., Olive, M. F., & Conrad, C. D. (2014). Chronic stress may facilitate the recruitment of habit- and addiction-related neurocircuitries through neuronal restructuring of the striatum. Neuroscience, 280C, 231–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Choong-Ki Lee
    • 1
  • Bo Jason Bernhard
    • 2
  • Jungsun Kim
    • 3
  • Timothy Fong
    • 4
  • Tae Kyung Lee
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Hotel and Tourism ManagementKyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Departments of Hotel Management and SociologyUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.William F. Harrah College of Hotel AdministrationUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  4. 4.UCLA Gambling Studies ProgramSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of Addiction PsychiatrySeoul National HospitalSeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations