Excitement-seeking gambling in a nationally representative sample of recreational gamblers

J Gambl Stud. 2008 Mar;24(1):63-78. doi: 10.1007/s10899-007-9075-3. Epub 2007 Sep 8.


Excitement-seeking and related constructs have been associated with heavier gambling and negative health measures in problem and/or pathological gamblers. Most adults gamble recreationally and an understanding of the relationship between excitement-seeking as a motivation for gambling amongst subsyndromal gamblers has significant public health implications. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine a national sample of past-year recreational gamblers (N = 1,476) to identify characteristics distinguishing gamblers acknowledging gambling for excitement ("Excitement-seeking Gamblers" or EGs) and gamblers denying gambling for excitement ("Non-excitement-seeking Gamblers" or NEGs). EGs were more likely than NEGs to report alcohol use and abuse/dependence, any substance abuse/dependence, incarceration, large gambling wins and losses, more frequent and varied gambling, and symptoms of pathological gambling (i.e., at-risk gambling). Together, these findings indicate that EGs are more likely than NEGs to demonstrate problems in multiple areas characterized by impaired impulse control.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Behavior, Addictive / epidemiology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Reward
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology