social assertiveness than "male" domains (Kiesler et al., 1985). Kallick and colleagues (1979) noted that, in the United States, Jewish men were overrepresented at the racetracks and were also likely to have gambling problems. This demographic pattern, which is not as discernible in current studies, perhaps was related to the proximity of racetracks to Jewish communities. In any event, there developed among these men a subculture of the track and racing lore. Close social networks were formed among those who bet at the track or in offtrack venues; they would trade tips and loans. Rosecrance (1986) and Zurcher (1970) have also provided accounts of the role of social groups in gambling. It is possible that the subculture of some gambling domains buffers the effects of pathological and problem gambling. For example, friends who gamble together may exert mutual social pressure to limit their gambling expenditures. Such social processes surrounding the technology of gambling have obvious implications for the advent of home gambling and machine games that may also encourage solo gambling.
A large body of research suggests that today's gambling technologies and venues take advantage of people's normal responses to reward contingencies and to people's cognitive biases, perceptions of risk, and tendency to compartmentalize mental accounts of their expenditures (e.g., Fischhoff et al., 1981; Wagenaar, 1988; Varey et al., 1990; Kahneman and Tversky, 1979; Tversky and Kahneman, 1992). Some authors argue that gambling represents the purchase of an intangible leisure good, like purchasing a ticket to the movies (Vogel, 1994). However, because gamblers no doubt expect, or hope for, something tangible (money), gambling might be less similar to viewing a movie than to shopping for a luxury watch or car. The value of the activity draws in part from the social desirability of obtaining a rare tangible good and in part from the drama or pleasure of the activity itself. Risk may be part of the pleasure. Gambling is influenced both by the actual risks and rewards of games and by how people imagine these risks and rewards.