Deliberate risk-taking with money :
The consumption patterns of gambling
This article seeks to account for the success of games of chance despite their supposed economic irrationality, since this financial risk taking usually leads to losing money. The study is based on an original interpretation of the “Compulsive gambling” section of the Inpes-OFDT “Baromètre santé” (“Health barometer”) survey (2010) and fifty interviews with gamblers intended to show that a sociological approach enables an understanding of the attraction of these products. A typology of the types of involvement in these games is offered, intercutting the degree of risk-taking and the player’s sense of control. These uses of gambling reflect different attitudes to risk and instrumental decisions that have consequences for the possible development of dependency on the practice. It appears that risk-taking in gaming is not as well controlled as it is perceived to be by those gambling as an alternative source of wealth creation in a context of limited resources and as a means of regaining some control over their social fortunes. Addiction careers are the outcome of a series of mind traps.
Key words. GAMBLING – DELIBERATE RISK TAKING – THE SOCIOLOGY OF RISK – ADDICTION