You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

Gambling and financial management

An in-depth exploration of the relationship between money and gambling behaviour

Researchers: Jane Kerr
Published: July 2013


To understand the relationship between money, debt and/or financial hardship and gambling and the different pathways into gambling-related debt and/or financial hardship.

The study has generated a number of publications, which you can read by using the pink buttons below.


  • Although problem gamblers were more likely than non-problem gamblers to have forms of financial debt, just under two-thirds of problem gamblers (62%) reported having no debt.
  • Our analysis identified four kinds of gamblers: ‘controlled gamblers’, ‘uncontrolled gamblers’, ‘uncontrolled spenders’ and ‘chaotic spenders’.
  • We propose an ecological model which captures the different factors that influenced people's financial decisions, including cognitive factors, control and compulsion, normative spending, resource and financial management, and the credit environment. 


  • 45 in-depth qualitative interviews with a range of participants; varying in relation to how much debt they report and to what extent they report the problem of their gambling.
  • Quantitative analysis of existing data sets; as a tool to feed into the interviews and for further exploration of key themes that emerge throughout the project. 

Read the full report

Debt & problem gambling briefing

Managing money, debt & gambling briefing

Views & experiences of gambling support services briefing

The relationship between gambling, debt & financial management journal article