Psychology of Gambling: Mobile, Professional and Lottery Gambling Explained with Studies

Studies have shown that most people gamble for entertainment purposes. Yet, up to 8% of gamblers may show signs of addictive behaviour. Casinos are social games that fuel neural processes like being successful and recognized. Some successful gambling psychology studies argue that the addiction of gambling begins when people can’t stop playing, usually fueled by casino offers – free chips, drinks and hotels. It is much like being addicted to alcohol or drugs.


The psychological addiction of gambling is seen in lotteries/chance games and casinos. Professional gamblers don’t usually show addictive patterns, but amateurs are more likely to. Some studies about mobile gambling psychology show it’s an alarming problem due to the easy access of these legalized platforms.

Further studies on the psychology of gambling are required so scientists can fully understand the mechanisms behind it.

Which Are the Newest Studies for the Psychology of Gambling?

With the rise of online betting platforms, studies have been focusing on this matter:

  • Paul Rogers’ findings about the psychological factors behind gambling;
  • Jeremiah Weinstock and Anders Hakansson have focused on COVID-19’s impact on gambling addiction;
  • Others focused on the psychological processes of gambling, like the gambler’s fallacy psychology presented by Marko Kovic.

These studies have given scientists a new outlook regarding gambling, focusing on different subsections of gambling psychology. While similar, they’re actually affected by different qualifiers. Psychological factors and processes depend heavily on the type of gambling at practice, for instance.

Are There Psychological Differences Based on Gambling Types?

Gambling Roulette

Yes, there are psychological differences for different types of gambling. Forms of gambling include lotteries, sports betting, table games and electronic games. All have different psychological processes behind it, but the outcome may be the same – compulsive behavior.

The psychology of compulsive gambling is a highly studied subject. Studies show that mixed gambler’s addiction is more severe when compared to skill gamblers. However, skill gamblers are more susceptible to interpretative bias – the improper analysis of ambiguous events. Gamblers that play a single type of game tend to overestimate their skill when compared to gamblers that play a variety of games.

It is also known that fast-paced games like slots are more addictive than others. High-payout games are also equally addictive, like roulette.


What are the various sides of the Psychology of Casinos?

The various sides of casinos are that they use cognitive psychological tricks that make players enjoy them. These intimate environments lack clocks or windows, so you forget what time it is and follow a labyrinth design to get you lost. All these facts are related to the psychology of gambling addiction and get players to stay for longer.


What are the various sides of the Psychology of Betting?

The various sides of the psychology of betting are that it causes effects similar to drug use. The uncertainty behind betting is what causes this dopamine-releasing rush. Beginner’s luck, a well-documented phenomenon, also contributes to high levels of dopamine. In a way, you could say it’s a part of the psychology of successful gambling.


What are the unique sides of the Psychology of Sports Betting?

Online betting

The unique side of sports betting psychology is something known as the herd mentality. Most bettors tend to stick to low odds for winnings. However, this is what bookmakers want when they highlight these games. That way, bookies can clearly create the psychological profile of a gambler.


What are the unique sides of the Psychology of Table Games?

The unique side of chance table games is that they’re more addictive than most. The high payouts and reward frequency cause cognitive ecstasy on players. The psychology of gambling addiction shows that table games are especially problematic and highly compulsive, as related by Per Binde et al.


What are the unique sides of the Psychology of Electronic Games?

The unique side of electronic games is that they’re the cause of most gambling problems. The lengthy sessions of small stakes make players feel they’re not spending much. According to books on gambling psychology, up to 25% of electronic games players may have an addiction problem.

What Is the Connection Between Gambler’s Fallacy and Gambling Psychology?

The Gambler’s Fallacy is one of the most studied gambling psychological effects. Defined by Rachel Croson and James Sundali from Berkeley University, it is the belief in the presence of correlations in non-correlated events and sequences.

For instance, say that you’re playing roulette and there were eight red numbers in a row: you’re going to guess the next number will be black, right? Yes, but that would be wrong. The chances are always the same, no matter how many repetitions occur.


How Does Gambler’s Fallacy Affect Gambler’s Conceit in the Scope of Gambling Psychology?

The Gambler’s Conceit is a concept that, despite opposing the Gambler’s Fallacy, coexists with it. Bettors believe they have the self-control to stop when they’re winning. However, in practice, quitting while you’re ahead is extremely hard. Most players will keep going for more, which leads up to big losses that they’ll try to cover through the Gambler’s Fallacy.

How Does the Design of Gambling Games Affect Gamblers’ Psychology?

Casinos use certain design tips and tricks that make players gamble more. When gambling, players believe they can shift the odds in their favour with their skills. In fact, it’s just a phenomenon known as the illusion of control, as proposed by Cowley, Briley and Farrell from the University of Sydney in 2015.

Near-misses also play a huge part in the scope of a gambling game design. Roulette games are designed so numbers set apart are placed closely on the table, making players believe they were close to a win.

Casinos also use colour in their favour, especially red, purple and black. Colours can affect the player’s comfort, mood and willingness to bet. When it comes to casinos, personal choice is just an illusion. The psychological effects of gambling addiction begin when players begin feeling influenced by these factors. From here, they won’t be able to stop gambling.

What Are the Gambling Superstitions in a Gambler’s Psychology?

Cultural ideas and superstitions have led players to apply those same convictions while gambling. Some gamblers avoid betting on the number 13 or 4, for example, while others believe some physical actions like crossing your legs, whistling, counting or lending money bring bad luck. A common Vegas casino superstition is to avoid entering through the front entrance and use the backdoor instead.

A lot of people believe that certain rituals bring good luck – wearing red, crossing your fingers or blowing the dice. Superstitions are nothing but psychological effects of gambling, working as a placebo.

What Is the Mood/Emotion Regulation to Predict Gambling Frequency?

Contrary to popular thought, motives for gambling are not only money-related. Research shows that players with certain biological determinants like mood disorders and difficulty regulating emotions, especially when in conjunction with a psychiatric diagnosis, are more likely to experience addictive gambling.

The psychology behind gambling is related to the dopamine release. This can make coping with stress and anxiety easier.

What Is the Bandwagon Effect for Gamblers?

Poker gambling

Psychology of gambling new research has found the bandwagon effect. It is usually known as group thinking bias. Since everyone is afraid of being wrong, players tend to forget the raw facts and opt for betting like the majority.

Say you’ve been extensively studying a game and are ready to place a bet. But first, you decide to check other opinions and odds online and find out it’s not in your favour. This will affect your judgment and make you change your bet, often with disastrous consequences.


Does the Operant Conditioning Chamber (aka the Skinner Box) Explain the Psychology of Gambling?

The Skinner box from B. F. Skinner allows scientists to manipulate animal behaviour. By pushing a lever, laboratory animals get rewarded, a similar effect to a slot game. Using gambling devices is a conditioning behaviour – place a coin, pull a lever, get a reward.

This effect of gambling devices happens due to basic gambling psychology, as every player desires to collect winnings. Slot games have the same effect as Skinner boxes, but for adults.

What Is the Psychological Description of Gambling Addiction?

Gambling addiction is severely harmful. It begins when symptoms start to affect your daily life and relationships. These include constantly thinking about gambling, difficulty to stop betting, chasing losses, lying about gambling and committing crimes to fund betting. If you relate to any of these symptoms, seek help or contact the National Gambling Helpline.


Are there predisposing (genetic) characteristics for the Psychology of Gambling?

Some genetic factors, like dopamine dysfunction and family history, contribute to pathological gambling. As previously mentioned, many players resort to betting to cope with stress and anxiety caused by low dopamine. Studies comparing the habits of twins have observed a strong correlation, concluding that gambling issues may be hereditary.

Expert Javia Alex
Javia Alex
Javia Alex is an expert-level Copywriter/Editor with a wealth of experience in the iGaming scene. A self-described player advocate, Javia’s player-first mindset, “tell it like it is”, has earned her an oft-cited voice across gambling circles. She frequently works late nights and long hours, fact-checking reviews and pages for accuracy.