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Motivating and Inhibiting Factors in Online Gambling Behaviour: A Grounded Theory Study


To date, there has been very little empirical research examining why people gamble online or—just as importantly—why they do not gamble online. A grounded theory study examining the motivating and inhibiting factors in online gambling was carried out. The sample comprised 15 online gamblers, 14 offline gamblers, and 11 non-gamblers, and resulted in the identification of one major theme as to why participants were motivated to gamble online (i.e., greater opportunity to gamble) and four sub-themes (i.e., convenience, value for money, the greater variety of games, and anonymity). The main reason that inhibited online gambling was that the authenticity of gambling was reduced when gambling online. Four further sub-themes were identified as inhibitors of online gambling (i.e., the reduced realism, the asocial nature of the internet, the use of electronic money, and concerns about the safety of online gambling websites). Results also indicated that the participants’ perception was that online gambling was more addictive than offline gambling and that online gambling would exacerbate gambling problems in society.

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Correspondence to Abby McCormack.

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McCormack, A., Griffiths, M.D. Motivating and Inhibiting Factors in Online Gambling Behaviour: A Grounded Theory Study. Int J Ment Health Addiction 10, 39–53 (2012).

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  • Gambling
  • Online
  • Motivating factors
  • Inhibiting factors
  • Problem gambling