Selling hope:gambling entrepreneurs in Britain 1906–1960

Downs, Carolyn (2015) Selling hope:gambling entrepreneurs in Britain 1906–1960. Journal of Business Research, 68 (10). pp. 2207-2213. ISSN 0148-2963

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This research explores historical perspectives on gambling amongst poorer social groups in order to better understand why the poorest people in society gamble even though gambling seems economically illogical. A principal finding was that pleasure gained from hope of a small win and the agency of making a choice on use of scarce resources may be important in helping poorer people maintain optimism in the face of difficult life circumstances. The paper also explores patterns of illegal gambling entrepreneurship that arose as a response to the desire of the masses to “buy a few days hope” (Orwell, 1937). The paper concludes that where public opinion is out of step with the statute book then an illegal economy will develop to provide the goods or services the public is demanding and that apparently irrational behavior may in fact be a positive experience for many people.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Business Research
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Business Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Business Research, 68, 10, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.022
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31 Jul 2015 14:08
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 01:23