Migration from social casino games to gambling: Motivations and characteristics of gamers who gamble

Sally M. Gainsbury, Alex M.T. Russell, Daniel L. King, Paul Delfabbro, Nerilee Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing convergence of the gambling and gaming industries has raised questions about the extent to which social casino game play may influence gambling. This study aimed to examine the relationship between social casino gaming and gambling through an online survey of 521 adults who played social casino games in the previous 12 months. Most social casino game users (71.2%) reported that these games had no impact on how much they gambled. However, 9.6% reported that their gambling overall had increased and 19.4% reported that they had gambled for money as a direct result of these games. Gambling as a direct result of social casino games was more common among males, younger users, those with higher levels of problem gambling severity and more involved social casino game users in terms of game play frequency and in-game payments. The most commonly reported reason for gambling as a result of playing social casino games was to win real money. As social casino games increased gambling for some users, this suggests that simulated gambling may influence actual gambling expenditure particularly amongst those already vulnerable to or affected by gambling problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND
license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


  • Convergence
  • Freemium games
  • Migration
  • Problem gambling
  • Social casino games
  • Social network games


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