The objective of this study was to identify profiles of gamblers to explain the choice of preferred gambling activity among both problem and non-problem gamblers. 628 non-problem and problem gamblers were assessed with a structured interview including "healthy" (sociodemographic characteristics, gambling habits and personality profile assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory-125) and "pathological" [diagnosis of pathological gambling, gambling-related cognitions (GRCs) and psychiatric comorbidity] variables. We performed a two-step cluster analysis based solely on "healthy" variables to identify gamblers' profiles which typically reflect the choice of preferred gambling activity. The obtained classes were then described using both "healthy" and "pathological" variables, by comparing each class to the rest of the sample. Clusters were generated. Class 1 (Electronic Gaming Machines gamblers) showed high cooperativeness, a lower level of GRC about strategy and more depressive disorders. Class 2 (games with deferred results gamblers) were high novelty seekers and showed a higher level of GRC about strategy and more addictive disorders. Class 3 (roulette gamblers) were more often high rollers and showed a higher level of GRC about strategy and more manic or hypomanic episodes and more obsessive-compulsive disorders. Class 4 (instant lottery gamblers) showed a lower tendency to suicide attempts. Class 5 (scratch cards gamblers) were high harm avoiders and showed a lower overall level of GRC and more panic attacks and eating disorders. The preference for one particular gambling activity may concern different profiles of gamblers. This study highlights the importance of considering the pair gambler-game rather than one or the other separately, and may provide support for future research on gambling and preventive actions directed toward a particular game.
Keywords: Clustering; Continuous gambling; Distorted cognitions; Gambling; Gambling habits; Personality.