The French items of the Gambling Motivation Scale (GMS) were first developed and validated by Chantal and colleagues in 1994. The scale then became one of the most widely used motivational scales in the gambling literature of the West. The present study recruited 932 Chinese university students in order to validate the Chinese version of the Gambling Motivation Scale (C-GMS). The results of a confirmatory factor analysis of the Chinese data supported the 7-factor model as proposed by Chantal et al. (Soc Leis 17:189-212, 1994). This study also found a second-order model with three major factors, which corresponded to three types of gambling motivation including self-determined motivation (for knowledge, for accomplishment, for stimulation, and due to identified regulation), non self-determined motivation (due to introjected regulation and external regulation), and amotivation. All subscales demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, and showed significant correlations with gambling correlates such as problem gambling symptoms and gambling intention. In sum, the C-GMS showed adequate psychometric properties and can be extended for use with Chinese populations.