Exploring the buying behaviour of "good" and "bad" gambling products

Document Type

Journal Article


Journal of Research for Consumers


Business and Public Management


Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




This article was originally published as: Mizerski, D., Mizerski, K., Perman, F., Henley, N., Charters, S., Pettigrew, S., ... & Donovan, R. J. (2005). Exploring the Buying Behaviour of “Good” and “Bad” Gambling Products. Journal of Research for Consumers, (5). Original available here


Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs, slots, fruit machines, pokies) is portrayed as being a highly addictive form of entertainment, and is often cited as having the highest rate of “problem gambling” among its users. Lottery products, on the other hand, are viewed as “low risk forms of gambling”. However, both Lotto and EGM play fit a normal pattern of repeat purchase found in many repeat consumer and business goods. An empirical analysis of data on Australians’ gambling shows that most forms of gambling (Bingo, wagering) actually have a higher proportion of “problem gamblers” among their players than EGMs. This coupled with the high co-morbidity of problem gambling with other problems questions the validity of present perceptions about the addictive labeling of EGMs.