Gambling pathways development of triad members, female sex workers, male sex workers and taxi drivers: A summary of four qualitative studies on gambling deviant subcultures in Hong Kong.


  • Paul Khiatani Upper Iowa University (Hong Kong Campus)
  • Chi Chine Chan Upper Iowa University (Hong Kong Campus)
  • Kevin Yick Upper Iowa University (Hong Kong Campus)
  • Tiffany Tse Upper Iowa University (Hong Kong Campus)


This summary analysis was based on four ongoing qualitative studies undertaken in Hong Kong involving four  active gambling subgroups----- triad-related members (n=30), female sex-workers (n=30), males sex workers (n=10), and taxi drivers (n=10). The purpose of the summary was to explore the pathways development of these subculture groups, the gambling motivations, and lifestyle. Each participant was administered the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) (Ferris & Wayne, 2001) and the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for Pathological Gambling (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). They were also given semi-structured clinical interviews by an experienced clinical psychologist and his students. Results indicated that the majority of the participants met the criteria for pathological gambling. Furthermore, in general, all four groups came from troubled childhoods and poor family backgrounds. Most of the participants had co-addiction problems. The lifestyle of their subculture was a significant factor for their involvement in gambling. Differences found among the groups included their motivations towards gambling? Apart from monetary gains? Their adopted gambling habits, their feelings towards gambling, and lifestyle differences. The triad-related members gambled mostly for social lingering and business purposes. Female sex workers gambled for the reward of escaping problems and bad moods. Male sex workers gambled mostly for the excitement and thrill. Taxi drivers gambled mostly for killing time. All the 4 groups of participants expressed their reluctance in seeking for treatment for their gambling problems. The summary of the four studies support the claims of the pathways development model of Blaszczynski & Nower (2002) and Hirschi? Theory on social bonding (1969).