Online Gambling Psychology: What Drives People to Bet?

Published September 19, 2015 by Elana K

Online Gambling Psychology: What Drives People to Bet?

What are the psychological motives behind gambling? Riches? Pride? Fame? Or a combination of it all?

Before there was online gambling, there was gambling. And gambling goes back to ancient times; Roman soldiers, Chinese law, and Ancient Egypt all bear records of some form of gambling.

While the games have undoubtedly evolved, there is still that immutable question: What drives people to gamble? Especially when the very nature of gambling itself means that you may lose something valuable?

Complex Reasons

The reasons are complex. While most economists theorize that profit is the main motive behind gambling, psychologists say that other desires are much stronger motivators. Evidence of this? The actions of most gamblers contradict the desire to win money. If winning money was the sole motivator, gamblers would quit while they were ahead, not take risks and stick to games that have better odds than others. But this is not the case!

Clearly other forces drive the desire to gamble, whether it is acclaim or accolades from the people at your table in the casino, pride, ego, recklessness and even gender.

The Online Gambling Angle

These motives have been studied repeatedly, but with the advance of online gambling, new studies may be in order. Online gambling, while modeled on traditional gambling, is a totally different psychological experience. For example, when you play online, you have no expectations acclaim, fame, pats on the back and things of that nature, because online gambling is an isolated activity, played at home or on a mobile phone.

But while motives may change depending on whether you are gambling at a land-based casino or on an internet site, understanding your own drive can help you get ahead while gambling. It can help you keep your goals in mind and not get caught up in the frenzy and excitement of a winning hand. If you understand what your own personal motives are, you can use that knowledge to your gambling experience without regretting it after.

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