Cultural Diversity and Gambling: Exploring the Impact of Culture and Migration on Gambling


  • Christopher Anderson Monash University
  • Harriet Radermacher Monash University


Approximately 70% of the Australian adult population participates in some form of gambling activity every year and approximately 2.1% of the population may develop gambling problems (Productivity Commission, 2010). However, people from CALD communities may be particularly vulnerable to problem gambling due to pre-existing vulnerabilities, factors related to migration, as well as cultural beliefs. They are often excluded from research for various reasons (e.g. high cost, difficulty recruiting participants; Feldman et al., 2008), resulting in limited and fragmented evidence-based research relating to the experiences and role of gambling in the lives of Australia’s CALD communities.This paper will present the findings from the first stage of a qualitative research study to investigate the experiences, attitudes and beliefs about gambling of people from CALD communities, and examine how these cultural perspectives influence their gambling proclivity and their help-seeking behaviour and access to support services. The preliminary findings from a series of key informant interviews with community leaders and service providers to CALD, Chinese- and Tamil-speaking communities be presented, including the examination of challenges in recruitment and gaining trust and overcoming secrecy. These findings will then be used to inform the next stage of the project, which will be to interview members from the Chinese and Tamil speaking communities. It is anticipated that a more comprehensive understanding of the issues will be able to inform strategies and assist organisations within the sector to provide more culturally appropriate support in the future.