This article is available in: HTML PDF

Gambling motives and symptoms of problem gambling in frequent slots players

Vance V. MacLaren, Kevin A. Harrigan, Michael Dixon


Motives for gambling were examined among patrons of slots venues who reported playing electronic gaming machines at least weekly (N=849). According to scores on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), there were 331 (39.0%) participants at low risk, 330 (38.9%) at moderate risk, and 188 (22.1%) at high risk of Pathological Gambling. Scores on the Coping and Enhancement scales of the Gambling Motives Questionnaire (GMQ) had independent effects on PGSI scores. Cluster analysis of Coping and Enhancement scores identified Low Emotion Regulation (LER; n=189), Primarily Enhancement (PE; n=338), and Coping and Enhancement (CE; n=322) subtypes. More CE gamblers (80.1%) had PGSI scores that suggested problem or Pathological Gambling than the PE (56.8%) or LE (36.0%) subtypes. Gamblers who frequently play slot machines are at elevated risk of Pathological Gambling if they play slots as a means of self-regulating their negative emotional states.

Full Text:



Copyright © 2020 | Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Editor-in-chief: Nigel E. Turner, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vivien Rekkas, Ph.D. (contact)