Informations and abstract
Keywords: recreational gambling, young adults, gambling motivations, gambling behaviors, structural equation modeling.
The present paper aims at investigating motives and behaviors towards gambling of young adults (18 to 20 years of age). In Italy young gamblers are poorly investigated. This paper represents a first attempt to bridge this gap, contributing to formulate, as a first draft, a causal model able to catch significant antecedents of motives and behaviors related to the aforementioned target. To this aim, a causal model linking motives and situational factors to gambling behaviors was hypothesized and subsequently tested; a multiitem scale was specifically prepared. Sem (Structural Equation Modeling) was adopted to verify the model in question. The analysis revealed that socializing and sensation seeking drive young gamblers, in addition to the desire of economic enrichment. Furthermore, it was possible to assess that the depicted attitudes pattern generates a positive impact on the availability to spend money for gambling and to recommend gambling to others. Finally, it emerged that the accessibility of gambling influences the propensity to spend money in such an activity. Young gamblers have specific motives and behaviors and, as such, gambling operators should put in place proper marketing strategy to deals with this particular target. More precisely, focusing communication strategies simply on prize money benefits rather than on emotional and amusement drivers appears reductive.