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Examining the trait and functional motive antecedents of four gambling activities: slot machines, skilled card games, sports betting, and promotional games

Xiang Fang (Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
John C. Mowen (Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 20 March 2009

3978

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the functional motive and trait antecedents of four forms of gambling – slot machines, skilled card games, sports betting, and participating in marketing promotional games such as sweepstakes and contests.

Design/methodology/approach

A hierarchical model of motivation and personality (3M model) was employed to investigate the trait and functional motive antecedents of four gambling activities. Five motives for gambling were identified – money, excitement, social interaction, escape from problems, and self‐esteem enhancement. In addition, the effects of demographic variables (i.e. age, gender, and education) on four gambling types were examined. A total of 1,158 responses were collected from an online consumer panel.

Findings

The results suggest that the four forms of gambling have divergent motives, traits, and demographic profiles.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should further explore other possible traits in predicting different gambling activities (e.g. superstitious beliefs). Another limitation of the study is the online panel sample, which is somewhat older and more highly educated than the general public.

Practical implications

The findings will help marketers better segment the market based on unique profiles of personality traits, functional motives, and demographic variables associated with each gambling type and design communication strategies to reach the targeted consumers.

Originality/value

Previous researchers have neither investigated the functional motives for gambling nor compared the motives for divergent forms of gambling. This research employs a hierarchical model (3M model) to investigate the trait and functional motive predictors of multiple forms of gambling.

Keywords

Citation

Fang, X. and Mowen, J.C. (2009), "Examining the trait and functional motive antecedents of four gambling activities: slot machines, skilled card games, sports betting, and promotional games", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 121-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760910940483

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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