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Materialism, Financial Motives and Gambling: Examination of an Unexplored Relationship


Gambling has an inherent structural monetary component, and financial motive is one of the main motivations for gambling. Despite this, and contrary to other addictive behaviours that involve money such as compulsive buying, gambling has never been studied from a materialism perspective. The objective of the present study was to explore the links between materialism and gambling disorder (GD) and whether this relationship is mediated by financial motives for gambling. We compared 65 pathological gamblers (PGs) seeking treatment to 65 matched non-problem gamblers. The data collection included socio-demographics, gambling characteristics, the Materialism Values Scale, the Gambling Motives QuestionnaireFinancial, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The statistical analysis included linear mixed models and Structural Equation Modelling. The level of materialism was significantly higher for the PGs, except for the Centrality dimension. Only one mediated effect was significant, and it concerned an indirect path from Happiness through financial motives. Moreover, Happiness explained most of the variance of the probability of becoming a PG. Contrary to compulsive buying, the PGs seemed to display materialism in a more experiential way that was centred on what possessions can induce secondarily rather than on the possessions themselves. The belief that material possessions are essential to achieving happiness may encourage the PG to gamble, thus contributing to both the development and maintenance of GD. We provided evidence that materialism is a key concept in the comprehension of GD and should be further considered when adapting care strategies.

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Study concept and design: MGB, GCB; Analysis and interpretation of data: MGB, EE, GCB; Statistical analysis: AV, HM; Study supervision: MGB, JL, GCB; Literature search: MP, GCB; Drafting of manuscript: MGB, AV, EE, GCB; Critical revision: JL, HM, MP; MGB and GCB have full access to all data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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Correspondence to M. Grall-Bronnec.

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The authors report no financial or other relationship relevant to the subject of this article. MGB, JL, EE, GCB declare that the Addictology and Psychiatry Department has received funding directly from the University Hospital of Nantes and gambling industry operators (FDJ and PMU). Scientific independence towards gambling industry operators is warranted. There were no constraints on publishing. AV, HM, MP declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


The study was conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Declaration of Helsinki, with approval from the local ethics committee. Written informed consent was collected from all participants.

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Eyzop, E., Vanier, A., Leboucher, J. et al. Materialism, Financial Motives and Gambling: Examination of an Unexplored Relationship. J Gambl Stud 35, 861–873 (2019).

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