Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Murray G. Millar

Number of Pages



This research examined whether there was a qualitative or quantitative difference between recreational gamblers' motives for participating in their one favorite gambling activity and their one favorite recreational activity. The rationale is to demonstrate that gambling is comparable to other recreational activities. The sample for this study was recruited on the Internet through newsgroups with bulletin boards. After deletion of cases that did not qualify for analysis, 133 people qualified for full analysis by scoring 0 on the NODS gambling screen (classified as recreational gamblers) and by completing the Recreation Experience Preference scales for both gambling and other recreational activities. In the overall group, seven of the top ten ranked motives were common to each activity: skill development, being with friends, being with similar people, excitement, competence testing, autonomy, and escaping daily routines. Data was also split along games of chance vs. games of skill. Those who played games of chance had the highest agreement (number of common motives) between gambling and other recreational activities (90%): escaping role overloads, tension release, escaping daily routine, being with friends, excitement, slowing down mentally, being with similar people, autonomy, and skill development. The full sample qualitative data from this study (N=133) was compared to previous data collected with college students (N=349) in a paper and pencil version of the same REP scales for recreation and gambling (Platz, 1999). As with the current sample, seven of ten motives were found to be common to recreation and gambling activities among college students. Five of the seven motives found common to both recreational gamblers' recreation and gambling activities were found consistent across the two diverse samples and different means of data collection. Motives included: excitement, being with friends, being with similar people, autonomy, and escaping daily routines. Nonsignificant quantitative motives between activities ranged from 9/20 to 13/20 REP motives. Qualitative comparisons ranged from 5/10 to 9/10 common motives for participating in both activities. These findings add construct and convergent validity to a developing area of research on gambling as a positive human experience within the context of recreational behavior.


Activities; Gambling; Internet; Motives; Recreation Activities; Recreational

Controlled Subject

Behaviorism (Psychology); Psychology, Experimental; Recreation; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

2222.08 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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