Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 1293–1311 | Cite as

Where Lies the Harm in Lottery Gambling? A Portrait of Gambling Practices and Associated Problems

  • Jean-Michel Costes
  • Sylvia KairouzEmail author
  • Eva Monson
  • Vincent Eroukmanoff
Original Paper


Lotteries are one of the most prevalent forms of gambling and generate substantial state revenues. They are also argued to be one of the least harmful forms of gambling. This paper is one of the first to examine exclusive lottery gamblers and compares their gambling patterns and problems as well other associated risky behaviours to those who are not exclusive lottery gamblers. Data were derived from two large surveys conducted with representative adult samples in France (n = 15,635) and Québec (n = 23,896). Participants were separated into two groups: exclusive lottery gamblers (ELGs) and non-exclusive lottery gamblers. Using multivariate analysis, study results reveal that ELGs, who represent two thirds of gamblers, generally exhibit less intensive gambling patterns and are less likely to report other risky behaviours. However, harms associated with moderate risk and problem gambling are found to be concentrated in specific subpopulations for both groups, primarily males, older individuals, and those who report lower income and education level. Given widespread participation in lotteries and concentration of harm within specific subgroups, these findings point to the need for prevention efforts despite the lower levels of harm associated with lottery gambling.


Lottery gamblers Gambling patterns Gambling problems Risky behaviours 



Dr. Kairouz received partial financial support for this article from the Research Chair on Gambling, funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Société et Culture (FRQ-SC) under Grant #65408. She and Mr. Costes received additional funding by the Commission Permanente de Cooperation Franco-Québecoise (CPCFQ) under Grant #130876.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This project has been approved by the Research Ethics Board of Concordia University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Observatoire des JeuxMinistère des FinancesParis CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Lifestyle and Addiction Research LabConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Université de SherbrookeLongueuilCanada

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