Exploring Gambling Motivations

1 in 10 young people gamble regularly. This activity examines the motivations and reasons behind why young people take part in gambling. It provides opportunities to discuss the associated risks, underlying root causes and alternatives.


20-30 min


Post-it notes, pens

Activity illustrations (8)


  1. Split the group into teams of 3 or 4, and provide each team with a stack of post-it notes and pens. Now,

    each team will have 5 minutes to write down as many reasons or motivations why a young person might choose to gamble.

  2. After 5 minutes, ask the teams to count the number of post-its. Ask a volunteer from the team with the most post-it notes to read out each note, and work together to group them into relating themes (e.g. on a flip chart or whiteboard).
  3. Ask the remaining teams to share any that haven’t been mentioned yet, and add them to the emerging themes.
  4. Now you will have an extensive overview of the different reasons why young people might choose to

    gamble. Some follow-up questions you could ask:

    • Are any of these motivations more risky than others?
    • Are there any root causes underpinning some of these motivations? (E.g. gambling stigma, industry tactics and ads, poverty)
    • Depending on their motivations – What could this person do instead? How might they be supported or limited by our society’s laws or cultural norms?