Socio-demographic determinants of gambling participation and expenditures: Evidence from Malaysia

Andrew K.G. Tan, Steven T. Yen, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the socio-demographic determinants of participation and expenditure decisions on gambling among non-Muslim households in Malaysia using data from the 2005-2006 Malaysian Household Expenditures Survey. Heckman’s sample selection analysis was used to obtain consistent (unbiased) empirical estimates for the regression equation of gambling expenditures in the presence of censoring (observed zeros) in the dependent variable. Marginal effects were also calculated to further explore the effects of socio-demographic variables on the probability and levels of gambling expenditures. The results indicated that non-Muslim households in Malaysia who are more likely to participate and spend more in gambling include Chinese, affluent, male-headed, younger and non-white collar households. Specifically, households of Chinese descent have higher gambling probabilities and expenditures than Indians and those of other ethnic backgrounds. While education reduces and age increases the likelihood and expenditures of gambling among Chinese households, these effects are non-extant for Indians and other ethnic groups. Higher income and male-headed households were more likely to partake and have higher expenditures in gambling among all non-Muslim ethnic groups. Finally, Chinese and Indian households headed by a white-collar worker have lower gambling likelihoods and unconditional expenditures than their blue-collar cohorts. Based on these results, several anti-gambling policies were suggested to target those more likely to participate and spend more in gambling activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-325
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Gambling participation and expenditures
  • Malaysia
  • Sample selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Marketing


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