Why Swedish people play online poker and factors that can increase or decrease trust in poker Web sites: A qualitative investigation


  • Richard T.A. Wood GamRes Limited Email: <email xlink:href="mailto:Richard@GamRes.org">Richard@GamRes.org</email>
  • Mark D. Griffiths International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, UK




responsible gaming, trust, online poker, motivations to gamble


Three face-to-face focus groups that included 24 online poker players were conducted in Stockholm to investigate their motivations for playing online poker and issues relating to their trust of poker Web sites. Casual players played because they liked the convenience, the ease of learning, the low stake size, the relief from boredom, and the social interactions. "Professional" players played to win money and utilised several features of the online game for psychological tactics. They also tended to play several tables at once.

Factors that affected how much a player would trust an online poker Web site included the size and reputation of the operator, the speed with which winnings were paid out, the clarity of the Web site design, the technical reliability of the service, and the accessibility and effectiveness of the customer service. Responsible gaming measures also increased levels of trust by demonstrating company integrity and by reducing anxiety about winning from other players.

The findings indicate that providing a safe online environment with effective responsible gaming measures may be much more than just a moral and regulatory requirement. Players in this study suggested that such features are sometimes necessary in order to achieve an enjoyable gaming experience. Consequently, responsible gaming initiatives and good business practice do not have to be mutually exclusive. Indeed, in this particular scenario, they might even be considered mutually dependent.

This project was funded by Svenska Spel, the operators of the Swedish National Lottery. Other than agreeing to the research question, Svenska Spel had no say in how the research was carried out, the results that were reported, the conclusions that were drawn, or the editing of the report.






Original Article