Determinants of Consumer Intention to Use Online Gambling Services: An Empirical Study of the Portuguese Market

Determinants of Consumer Intention to Use Online Gambling Services: An Empirical Study of the Portuguese Market

Nuno Fortes (Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, ESTGOH, Coimbra, Portugal), António Carrizo Moreira (University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal) and João Saraiva (University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2016100102


Online gambling has skyrocketed in recent years. As such, knowing the determinants of consumer usage behavior is crucial in understanding online gambling services. This study has as main objective the construction of an explanatory model of the online gambling services usage behavior, based on the incorporation of perceived risk in the conceptual framework of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT2). The empirical validation of the model was performed by conducting an online survey to a convenience sample of 212 Portuguese online players. Data were processed using the PLS-SEM methodology. The results evidence that performance expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, hedonic motivations, price value, habits, as well as perceived risk influence the intention to use online gambling services.
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Theoretical Framework

The Online Game

Online games started in Antigua and Barbuda in 1994 (Wood & Williams, 2007). Online Casinos started in 1995, and in 1997 the growth of online casinos skyrocketed: from 15 websites in 1996, to more than 700 in 1998 (Schwartz, 2006). Despite several attempts to ban Internet gambling in the United States and Canada, it thrived as a result of the development of gambling specific software and the development of “legitimized” business-like Internet casinos (Spectrum Gaming Group, 2010).

In 2010 there were 2679 Internet gambling websites owned by 665 different companies (H2 Gambling Capital, 2013). However many Internet gambling companies create multiple websites, brands and third-party sites or operators, which is accelerating the consolidation of this market. However, little is known about the main determinants of consumer intention to use online gambling services. The importance of the needed knowledge about online gambling is reinforced by Manzin and Biloslavo (2008) who claim that not only 6.82% traditional gamblers also gamble online, but also traditional gamblers are totally different than online gamblers.

For Wood and Williams (2007), the online game has some attributes that clearly distinguish it from traditional “brick and mortar” casinos. The most obvious attribute is the relative convenience, comfort and ease of the online game as people can play at anytime and anywhere (provided there is an internet connection).

The yielding potential is higher and online game costs are smaller due to lower costs compared to traditional casinos. On the other hand, with a few clicks gamblers can easily switch to another online competitor casino.

For online gamblers, an aversion to the traditional casinos atmosphere and clientele may be pointed out, as well as a preference for the pace and nature of the online gambling: the interaction with other players is virtual, i.e., the feeling of stress is not shared and the identity of the players is protected. Although Manzin and Biloslavo (2008) include two types of online gambling: gaming (casino style games), and betting or wagering, which include raring and sport events, in this study we refer to online gambling in broad terms.

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