Drivers and motivations for people to gamble

There are many potential drivers of gambling participation, including:

  • Advertising
    Exposure to gambling ads can act as a constant reminder and push to gamble. Higher exposure to gambling advertising is linked to higher gambling rates and severity - for example through physical advertising on buses or football tops.
  • Accessibility
    If we are surrounded by opportunities to gamble, both in person and online, this makes it easier to participate. For example, gambling venues are more likely to be located in deprived areas, and people who live near to gambling venues are more likely to gamble and experience harm.
  • Affordability
    For some people, having a bit of money to spare can mean they are more likely to gamble. In contrast, if someone is experiencing extreme impacts on their health and financial wellbeing due to homelessness, gambling may be seen as a possible way out. For example, selling items to gamble if you have no money.
  • Acceptability and social norms
    The society we live in influences our behaviour. In societies where gambling is ‘normalised,’ the activities and harms associated with gambling are seen as acceptable and ordinary. This means that gambling behaviour may be passed down as a part of life to each generation, through their upbringing and socialisation.
  • Awareness
    Being more familiar with, and aware of, different types of gambling or gambling brands can influence behaviour. For example, young people with higher awareness of gambling brands are more likely to currently gamble.