Why Gamble Online

We asked 50 gamblers why they choose to gamble at online casinos. Respondents reported a diverse range of reasons as to what motivated them to gamble online rather than, or as well as, at a land‐based gambling venue.


Most respondents (28 respondents) reported that convenience and ease of access were the biggest factors in deciding to gamble online. This group was aged between 18 and 72 years, had slightly more respondents classified as PGSI High (15) than PGSI Low (13), and included two women. For these respondents, convenience related to location (gambling from home or work) and reduced effort to gamble (as one respondent reported, he could gamble in his pajamas), as noted in the following participant quotes:

Just ease of access. It’s 24/7; it’s pretty much in the palm of your hand now with the mobile phone and all that. That’s probably the most, I’d say.

(#16 Poker PGSI High Male 40 yrs)

…you can be sitting in class at uni and put on a bet on or at work or whatever or at home. At work or at uni previously I wouldn’t be able to. 

(#29 Multiple PGSI High Male 20 yrs)

Well, online basically it’s convenient, in your own house, the privacy that makes it very easy. All you need is a device to connect to the Internet that’s all. For you to go to a venue you have to travel to the place which is less convenient.

(#45 Lottery PGSI High Male 39 yrs)

Convenience of being in your own home is a huge thing. Now I don’t have to change out of my pajamas to make a bet, or have to get to a shop or walk to a (wagering operator agency). There’s an effort to do that. It’s more comfortable when you’re at home

(#17 Race Betting PGSI High Male 31 yrs)

I use Internet gambling mainly because I have two small children and I can’t take them with me to gamble at a venue. It is just easier to do it online for me. More convenient.

(#36 Lottery PGSI Low Female 29 yrs)

Two respondents reported that the reason they gambled at online casino was their geographical location in a rural or semi‐rural location without access to gambling amenities. Both reported that interactive gambling enabled them to gamble without the inconvenience of having to travel to a club or news agency to place a bet or purchase a lottery ticket. The following two quotes highlight how gambling online is preferable for these two respondents:

Living in Tasmania we don’t have the outlets so it’s the convenience of being able to do it at home.

(#13 Sports Betting PGSI High Male 42 yrs)

It’s because I have it at home and it saves me from going out. We live in a semi‐rural area.

We’re not actually close to anything. I just find the convenience of it. … Yes and I’m not terribly young. Whereas, before I’d have to get into the car and drive, of course some distance to be able to put money into the account or take money out.

(#3 Lottery PGSI Low Female 72 Yrs)


Fourteen respondents reported that their decision to gamble online rather than at land-based venues was because interactive gambling saves time and is a speedier option, which also relates to convenience. This group contained one female, was aged between 18 and 72 years and had more respondents classified as PGSI High (9). These respondents explained how gambling online requires less time, guarantees that they will not be disadvantaged by other gamblers when placing bets and has a faster pace, as illustrated in the following quotes:

Definitely the convenience of it, the sort of fast pace of it as well. If I see a market I like I can jump on it and just put a bet on it just before the game starts, rather than having to wait in line at a (wagering operator agency) or something like that.

(#20 Sports Betting PGSI Low Male 26 yrs)

I don’t like going down the (wagering operator agency), ‘cause you can get more quicker response online and you got a time factor, you can bet right up to the last couple of seconds before the gates open, whereas in the (wagering operator agency) or even online there’s always the risk of not being able to get a bet on. That’s my preference why I bet online.

(#37 Lottery PGSI High Male 68 yrs)

Yeah, because in the (wagering operator agency) they have to go to the effort of filling out a card, keeping it in their wallet or whatever and going through the whole process, whereas with the home side of things you’ve just got to click a couple of buttons, that’s always there, so it’s a lot more straightforward and convenient.

(#19 Race Betting PGSI High Male 52 yrs)

I’d say probably convenience and obviously being able to collect the money straight away without having to go into a (wagering operator agency) and collect your money.

It’s there in your account and you can transfer it straight back into your bank account without having to drive down the road or any of that type of jazz.

(#6 Sports Betting PGSI Low Male 29 yrs)


Thirteen participants reported that the greater range of gambling options and better gambling odds were the reasons they gambled online. This group was all male, aged from 18 to 68 years and had slightly more respondents classified as PGSI High (7) than PGSI Low.

The following quotes illustrate how more gambling options and better odds influence decisions to gamble online:

From a gambling standpoint, the odds are better and you’re getting offers and promotions to go with certain people. You don’t get that in a (wagering operator agency).

(#49 Multiple PGSI High Male 31 yrs)

Online you can do all your research, see past results, who scored what. I’m with six different bookies and I can have a look around to see who has the best odds. If you go down to the (wagering operator agency) you’re stuck with whatever odds they are offering at that time. The information is at your fingertips online. It makes educated gambling a lot easier.

(#5 Sports Betting PGSI Low Male 45 yrs)

I can click from one website to the next and check the price on one website to the next website to the next website. If you had to go and do that at say a (wagering operator agency) or whatever, you have to go to five different premises to have a look at it. The convenience of the gambling I think is what gets you in.

(#32 Multiple PGSI High Male 48 yrs)

Even when I go to the races, if I go to the races I will use my phone. The information that I can get through my phone is more beneficial. You can get more information through it.

Form and what the horse is doing, what they are paying, that sort of stuff.

(#48 Multiple PGSI Low Male 37 yrs)


Seven respondents reported that interactive gambling was more appealing than land‐based gambling because they did not like being surrounded by other gamblers. This group was aged between 26 and 71 years, with more than half aged over 45 years. This group had slightly more respondents classified as PGSI High (4) than PGSI Low (3) and included one female. Respondents described being able to focus and concentrate better due to lower noise levels, as well as not having other gamblers around distracting and disrupting their concentration. Additionally, some respondents discussed negative assumptions they held of other gamblers in relation to their economic status or character as reasons why gambling online was preferable. The following quotes highlight these sentiments:

Well, basically it’s a lot easier and you haven’t got the people making the unnecessary noise or distracting you from what you’re trying to do.

(#19 Race Betting PGSI High Male 52 yrs)

Also, there are other people there at the (wagering operator agency) and on average I would say that people who are betting on the horses are not from a high economic status, so that aspect of it makes it preferable to do at home rather than actually going into a (wagering operator agency). Also if you were to go into the (wagering operator agency) there is a stigma attached to actually being seen in there. Even other friends of mine even prefer the Internet.

(#17 Race Betting PGSI High Male 31 yrs)

… you don’t have to put up with all the humbug, you do quite often at the (wagering operator agency) in the hotel you have to be tolerant to other patrons’ behavior. If I go down to bet I like to study, I like to concentrate, I like to be sure I’m going to get the bet on. If you go to bet down the local (wagering operator agency) you’ve got to quite often wait in the line and for whatever reason, the person in front of you is a bit slow or changes his mind or whatever, it means you could possibly miss out on a bet.

(#37 Lottery PGSI High Male 68 yrs)

I don’t like the social interaction at the track. I find it too noisy and I can’t concentrate because there’s too much furor around the bookies. Everybody’s screaming and talking so I lose concentration if I go to the track.

(#41 Race Betting PGSI High Male 71 yrs)


Five respondents explained that gambling online, specifically on sports betting, kept the game or event interesting. This group consisted of five males, aged 28 to 54 years and all were rated as PGSI High. As highlighted by the following quotes, these respondents reported that placing bets on a sports game added an extra dimension to just watching the event:

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t put bets on football games, but I’m only talking far less money than I ever would put through betting at the track … only so I could have an interest in the game.

(#17 Race Betting PGSI High Male 31 yrs)

I think what attracted me to it was to keep having a little stake to keep the game interesting … I think it’s the fact that you can view your odds. You feel like you’re part of the action, having a little stake here and there, keeps the game interesting … Spur of the moment, I mean, it’s like if you have a gut feeling … you feel a certain event that happened, so you basically have a bet based on that moment. What I find with odds is, if a team is doing really well at the spur of the moment, you tend to go in straight away and be … Generally the feeling is you watch your game maybe after a quarter, maybe after two quarters and you get a feel for the game, you get a feel for conditions, you get a feel for the tactics of coaches. Not all games start off and end off as expected on paper. You get a feel for a game after a quarter and then based on those feelings, you place a bet.

(#7 Sports Betting PGSI High Male 28 yrs)


Two respondents reported that gambling online was a social activity for them. Both respondents were aged in their thirties; one male respondent gambled on a range of products (Multiple) at a PGSI High level and the other female respondent gambled on poker at a Low PGSI level. Both respondents played poker online with friends as a social activity:

I was playing in a group one night and one of the other people there that I was having a wine with mentioned that he was part of the online league through a small group of people called the (poker league operator) and would I be interested in coming to play and so I did and strangely enough it’s been almost exactly a year exactly. I view it as a different form of gambling to what I previously did. I probably spend about $20 on my credit card probably every three or four months. It costs about $1. It’s usually $1. Each Sunday they have a $2 game and they have free games as well. They have two or three free games a week … It’s very friendly. It’s very social. I would call the people intimate friends, if that makes any sense. Once again, it’s a social thing that I do.

(#22 Poker PGSI Low Female 38 yrs)

However, three respondents reported that gambling online was anti‐social as it could be quite disruptive to social ties and commitments to family and friends, for example:

… it affects your social activities as well. Sometimes you just don’t want to go out or …

when I hang out with my friends, I always want to go home to get online and watch the game. It’s like I don’t really want to participate in social activities at all.

(#10 Sports Betting PGSI High Male 37 yrs)

It’s a bit antisocial. Back when I was doing it at my desktop computer it was, you sort of lock yourself away in that room. I didn’t leave the room too much.

(#17 Race Betting PGSI High Male 31 yrs)

… when you are at home and you’re gambling online … you tend to be a lot more antisocial to family members or put off other duties that need to be done or it can cause other problems within the household.

(#2 Lottery PGSI High Male Age not provided)


One respondent, who reported playing online poker three to six times a week for sessions of two to four hours, was employed in a casino. Thus, gambling online was the only option available for him to gamble on casino games without having to travel a long distance:

I work in a casino and I live in a town where there’s only one casino. They actually prevent employees from going to that casino.

#44 Casino PGSI Low Male 38yrs


One respondent who worked in a land‐based gaming venue discussed how the availability of interactive gambling through smartphones enables venue employees to ‘copy’ the bets of successful gamblers, thus motivating them to gamble at work when they previously would not have been able to:

You’ve got people coming up giving us bets like can I have $300 on X to pay to win and you think ‘Oh wow, that’s amazing odds’ and somebody else does the same, thinking ‘Oh, wow, 20 people in the same hour placed the same bets, I should do the same’ or you see someone like the more bigger punters, if you will. They’ll come in and put a lot on the big games and win all of them. They think ‘Oh, wow, they know something I don’t know or they’re just really skilled when it comes to it. Next time they come in, I’m just going to copy their bets.’ … if you’re standing behind the bar or behind the kiosk, nothing stopping you from just picking up your phone, ten seconds after and you’ve copied your bet and that happens a lot because a lot of people. .. I’ve even done it myself.

(#31 Multiple PGSI Low Male 24yrs)

This respondent reported that the practice of ‘copying a bet’ was widespread amongst gaming employees and was a result of mobile phone technology enabling bets to be placed whilst at work. He also reported that the practice was tolerated by management:

That’s something that’s been happening maybe over the last year with iPhones and all of these smartphones. That’s something that’s crazy. If you walk into a lot of gaming venues, like in Victoria and Melbourne especially and you just watch the staff there, always on their phone and that’s for no specific reason. It’s because if you’re working the venue for long enough, you know who’s in there every day and you know who’s winning the money and you know who’s leaving the money…Management knew about it. Like I was head of gaming …. I had really no problem with them doing it. If they wanted to do it, it’s their money. Why not? If they’re allowed to be on their phone because it’s quiet now and then, allow them do to anything.

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