Culture is a synthesis of the shared beliefs and morals of a group of people, and the way in which they draw meaning from these elements. Because it influences meaning and values, culture impacts how people gamble, the popularity of different types of gambling, and specific gambling practices. Moreover, culture also influences individuals' thoughts and attitudes towards gambling.
Some cultural meaning and values can increase the risk of harms from gambling, while others decrease harms. In some cultures, great value is placed on the possession and display of wealth, which attracts individuals to the world of gambling where large sums of money rapidly change hands. In contrast, other cultures consider gambling to be so shameful that individuals may hesitate to talk about or seek help for gambling problems. Finally, in certain cultures gambling may not be prominent. However, if immigrants from that culture then move to a host society where gambling is prevalent, they may develop unrealistic expectations of making money, which in turn could lead to excessive gambling. Cultural views of gambling can vary, and include viewing gambling as: individual entertainment, a social activity, escapism from daily life, a hobby requiring skill, a way to test one's luck, a quick way to make money and/or as something shameful.