Lifestyle Gambling in Accelerated Culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the myriad harms associated with the contemporary attachment of gambling to identity, and how these harms are amplified and played out within the digital spheres of social media and smartphone sports-betting apps. The first section argues that existing research which conceptualises gambling as separate from everyday life is largely obsolete in the contemporary context. Here, ethnographic data among a group of ‘lifestyle gamblers’ suggests that gambling has become an integral feature of the wider masculine weekend leisure experience, intimately connected to an infantilised consumer identity that is peculiar to late-capitalism. However, this chapter also argues that the socialisation of sports-betting into an identity-based betting culture has extended beyond the offline social realms of pubs and friendship groups and extended further into the online spheres of social media. Here, this chapter explores the role of ‘affiliate tipsters’ and their methods of creating ‘laddish’ and banter-filled online spaces of socialisation for forms of high-risk sports-betting. This focus upon digital lifestyle gambling brings the role of technology to the foreground. It is suggested that technology has not only loosened gambling from fixed spatial moorings, but that the underpinning algorithms of social media have created a personalised ‘technological unconscious’ in which advertisements for betting and suggestions of following betting accounts make attempts at stopping or curtailing gambling increasingly difficult for problematic and non-problematic gamblers alike. Finally, this chapter explores how the psychoanalytical processes of gambling combine with technology to fundamentally transform the digital lifestyle gambler’s relationship to money in potentially problematic ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeviant Leisure
Subtitle of host publicationCriminological Perspectives on Leisure and Harm
EditorsThomas Raymen, Oliver Smith
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030177362
ISBN (Print)9783030177355
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture


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