A Socio-economic Analysis of the Online Gambling

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., ICT Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran.

3 ICT Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.



This research delves into the socio-economic aspects of online gambling in Iran, exploring the underlying cultural drivers that have contributed to its rapid growth in recent years. Online gambling's prevalence is intricately linked to cultural norms and values, both overt and covert, which have shaped its emergence in the country. Despite the religious, legal, and cultural taboos associated with gambling in Iran, this study investigates the cultural motifs that have challenged these obstacles, particularly among the youth. To unravel the psychological mechanisms at play among young online gamblers, this study adopts a qualitative approach, employing in-depth interviews with 17 male online gamblers aged between 20 and 40, alongside participatory observations. The data is analyzed thematically, with a focus on cultural motifs that reinforce mental accounting biases, drawing from the principles of behavioral economics. Notably, the central theme that emerges from this analysis is the "psychology of success", a worldview that influences the mindset and actions of individuals engaged in online gambling. The findings of this study reveal a significant thematic alignment between the teachings of the psychology of success and the cultural elements that bolster cognitive biases in the speech and conduct of online gamblers. The psychology of success, which emphasizes a sense of agency and empowerment, appears to drive cultural change and contributes to the widespread acceptance of online gambling despite its illegitimate status. Furthermore, the study highlights a connection between the prevalence of online gambling and the devaluation of the national currency.


Main Subjects

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