The experience of gambling in an illegal casino: The gambling spin process

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8 Scopus citations


The present study depicts the experience of gambling in an illegal casino through a qualitative, phenomenological approach, in light of the criminal spin theory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 gamblers and 4 staff members. Qualitative analysis of the data reveals several major categories that describe the participants' experiences: fears in the illegal casino; learning through experience and with the assistance of a mentor; strengthening the sense of potency; a tunnel vision perspective; the growing urge to gamble; losing control; harming the family; and finding a way out of gambling. The findings indicate that the illegal casino created a unique atmosphere for its attendees that fostered a gambling spin that coincides with the motives of spin theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the participants who shared their experiences with us. We thank the Schnitzer Foundation for Research on the Israeli Economy and Society for supporting this research.


  • Criminal spin
  • gambling
  • illegal casino
  • phenomenology


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