How to grow casual online recreation into affective commitment, involvement, and loyal behavior? Why do people gamble online?

Minna Hannele Pura, Karl-Jacob Mickelsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Online gaming industry is booming as technology advances and bigger screens and multimedia enrich the user experience. Online gambling also continues to grow in importance and magnitude despite economic downturn (H2 Gambling Capital 2011). Future growth in the online gambling market is expected to be driven by leisure oriented consumers as demonstrated by the emergence of simpler gambling formats such as gaming and lotto targeted to the mass market. Online gambling competes today with other forms of mass entertainment for consumer attention and spending (Research and Markets 2006). As the variety of gambling services diversifies, future research has been called for to investigate motives for playing different types of online money games (Mowen, Fang and Scott 2009). Recreational gambling is done not only for economic incentives, but also for social reasons, for providing entertainment, excitement, and for escaping personal problems (Cotte 1997; Menestrel 2001). It remains to be explored if these motives also apply in online environment while people play at home. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand what makes people to choose one provider over another and stay loyal to one provider. Motivation type has been connected to choice of game (Chantal and
Vallerand 1996, Fang and Mowen 2009). Beyond that, there has been very little research on what the consequences different gambling motivations have in terms of attitudes toward providers or actual behaviour.

The paper investigates the relationship between customer’s motives to gamble online, involvement, commitment to provider and customer behavior. A survey study of 338 customers of an online monetary gaming site was conducted and combined with behavioral data from a customer database. We investigate the effects of customer commitment and involvement on customer behavior using real behavior instead of self-reported or intentions that are commonly used in the literature (Jolley et al. 2006). Results indicated that the motives of easiness, entertainment and socializing have a direct positive influence on the level of affective commitment to a particular service provider, while learning
and winning motives have a direct positive influence on involvement in gambling. Involvement in gambling showed a positive effect on both customer behavior and word-of-mouth tendency. Surprisingly, intensity of customer behavior had a negative effect on customer value. Further analysis
will be conducted to explore if the results are due to the special nature of the gambling context, or if providers should to take into account that traditional consumer behavior theories may not be directly applicable in terms of who the most valuable customers are in online context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Service Conference
PublisherUniversity of Miami
Publication date26.06.2014
Article number00109005
Publication statusPublished - 26.06.2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventFrontiers in Service Conference - Miami, United States
Duration: 26.06.201429.09.2014
Conference number: 2014


  • 512 Business and Management


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