Motivations for Esports Betting and Skin Gambling and Their Association with Gambling Frequency, Problems, and Harm

Nancy Greer, Nerilee Hing, Matthew Rockloff, Matthew Browne, Daniel L. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to examine gambling motivations for esports betting and skin gambling and their association with gambling frequency, problems, and harm. Data were collected via a cross-sectional online survey with 736 participants aged 18 + who engaged in esports cash betting (n = 567), esports skin betting (n = 180), or skin gambling on games of chance (n = 325). Respondents were asked to rate their motivations for the three activities across seven domains: social, financial, positive feelings or enhancement, internal regulation, skill building, competition/challenge, and skin acquisition. The results highlight both similarities and differences in gambling motivations across products. Financial gain and enhancement (i.e., excitement) were the main motivations endorsed for all activities, whereas skin acquisition was an additional motivation for esports skin betting and skin gambling. Across all three products, gambling to escape or improve mood was associated with higher levels of problem gambling and harm. Financial gain motivation was associated with problem gambling only for esports skin betting and skin gambling on games of chance. These findings underscore the importance of considering motivational influences on engagement with emerging gambling activities, especially since some motivations may be a contributing factor in harmful gambling outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-362
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Esports betting
  • Gambling motivations
  • Gambling problems
  • Gambling related-harm
  • Skin gambling
  • Virtual items


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