There are two primary types of gamblers: Action and Escape. Each gambles for different reasons and has unique characteristics and behaviors.
Action gamblers are often assertive, persuasive, loud and energetic, and as a group are usually men. They see themselves as friendly, sociable, gregarious and generous. They are typically younger men who are focused on the thrill of winning. They tend to play skill-based games such as horse and dog racing, sports betting, black jack and poker. “It’s a win-based, action-based process where they want to be part of the game and involved in the process,” says Jerry Bauerkemper, BS, CCGC.
Escape gamblers gamble as a form of coping and as an escape from physical or emotional pain. They are more apt to play “luck” games such as the slot, video poker or Keno machines. The vast majority of escape gamblers are women who may seem very ordinary and quiet. “They want their universe to shrink down to just them and the machine,” according to Jeff Cottle, MA, licensed psychologist. Escape gamblers are more likely to seek professional help and have a better opportunity at long-term recovery.