Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Brett L. Abarbanel

Second Committee Member

Bo J. Bernhard

Third Committee Member

Mehmet Erdem

Fourth Committee Member

John A. Schibrowsky

Number of Pages



This study examined what the driving factors behind why people watch esports and play video games, and their views on casino gambling. This research takes into account several motivational models and theories for video game and media consumption, including the Uses and Gratifications Theory. In addition, motivations and behaviors in regards to gambling were also examined. Although there is plenty of research on gambling motivations, none looks primarily at how esports and video game enthusiasts in specific feel about gambling.

In-depth Interviews were conducted on esports and video game enthusiasts to understand what they enjoy about esports and gaming, and what they like and don’t like about casino gaming. Results showed a wide range of motivations behind video game play, but challenge, skill, and socialization were the most common. For gameplay itself, people tended to really enjoy teamwork and collaboration. None of the participants gambled too often, and cited a lack of interactivity and value as primary reasons. One aspect of casino games that many found frustrating, is that their decisions seem to rarely have an impact on the outcome of a game, unlike video games. With video games, nearly each press of the button has a degree of significance. Casinos and casino game manufacturers alike should examine what it is that drives people to play video games and watch esports, and import those qualities into their casino gaming experience.


Esports; Gambling; Millennials; Slot Machines; Table Games; Video Games


Social and Behavioral Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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