Health impacts of gambling on Asian families and communities in New Zealand


  • Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj University of Auckland
  • Fiona Rossen University of Auckland
  • Anita Shiu Kei Wong University of Auckland


The project investigated the impact of gambling and problem gambling on the health and wellbeing of Asian families and communities in New Zealand. This 2-year, multi-phase qualitative project included a focus group discussion with specialist Asian problem gambling intervention staff and other practitioners/stakeholders with knowledge relating to Asian gambling issues. Sixteen focus group discussions were also undertaken with stakeholders (including individuals who have experienced or been impacted by problem gambling) across the 5 major Asian ethnic subgroups of Chinese, Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian and Asian with Refugee background. These were followed by 50 individual face-to-face interviews with individuals who have experienced problem gambling or been impacted by gambling. Particular attention was given to the role of risk and resiliency factors, the antecedents and etiology of problem gambling, and any similarities or disparities between gambling issues for New Zealand? Five major Asian ethnic subgroups. Findings are presented in relation to major themes that emerged from the data, including: Asian culture and its role in gambling; the role of migration, settlement and the environment in problem gambling amongst Asians; and coping behaviours, impacts and consequences of gambling for Asian people and their families. Suggestions are made about an ecological approach to reducing problem gambling amongst Asians. The findings from this project have wide reaching implications for those working within the problem gambling field, and could assist with the development of effective and culturally appropriate public health and treatment measures and techniques in relation to Asian gambling issues.