Reasons for gambling and problem gambling among Norwegian horse bettors: a real-world study utilizing combining survey data and behavioral player data

Auer, M. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2023. Reasons for gambling and problem gambling among Norwegian horse bettors: a real-world study utilizing combining survey data and behavioral player data. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 21, pp. 740-755. ISSN 1557-1874

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Despite the popularity of horserace gambling around the world, there is surprisingly little in-depth research on the topic. Additionally, studies suggest that motives for gambling are an important proximal factor related to problematic gambling among young people and adults. The present study investigated reasons for gambling among Norwegian horse bettors utilizing questions based on the Reasons for Gambling Questionnaire. The Norwegian gambling operator Rikstoto tracks all players’ behavior across all game types on the internet as well as land-based gambling and provided the data for the study. Consequently, the responses to the questions were correlated with actual gambling behavior. The authors were given access to an anonymized dataset of 3627 players (934 females and 2693 males) from the Norwegian horse betting operator Rikstoto who all completed a short survey. The reasons for gambling most endorsed by horserace bettors were to win big prizes and for excitement. The least endorsed reasons for gambling were to impress other people and to decrease tension. Gambling for money and gambling for recreation and coping were the most highly correlated with self-reported problem gambling. Age was significant and negatively correlated with self-reported gambling problems. The number of bets made, the amount of money consciously bet (i.e., players choosing the horse(s) compared to letting a random generator choose), as well as the monthly loss limit were significant and positively correlated. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the present study is the first to investigate (i) motivations to gamble combining self-report data with data from a real-world setting, (ii) horserace betting with actual player data, and (iii) correlations between self-reported information about gambling problems with actual gambling behavior and self-reported motivation to play. Consequently, the findings are of high existential value to the gambling studies field.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: Auer, M. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: April 2023
Volume: 21
ISSN: 1557-1874
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access .This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Jan 2021 11:52
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2023 12:48

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