There is more than one sense in which people believe they control their gambling. First there is the adaptive sense of having control over whether and how much to gamble. Other less adaptive strategies include holding superstitious beliefs that winning can be influenced by thoughts or actions such as 'thinking positively'. Another sense in which gamblers try to take control is through the fantasy that they will get their lives back in order through a 'big win'. The aim of this study was to assess the association between beliefs about control and gambling behaviour among young people aged 15 to 25 years (N= 1017). Results indicated that irrational control beliefs were strongly associated with problem gambling. Young problem gamblers were more likely to believe they needed money and that gambling would provide it. In addition, young problem gamblers had more faith in gambling techniques of various kinds, and in their ability to manipulate chance, and 'beat the system'.
Responsible gambling: a future winner: proceedings of the 8th National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 27-29 November 1997,