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Gambling motivations of indigenous Australians

posted on 2017-12-21, 00:00 authored by Nerilee HingNerilee Hing, H Breen, A Gordon, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell
Motivations to gamble are known to vary by gender and by type of gambling form, with stronger motivations associated with problem gambling. However, little is known about cultural differences in gambling motivations, with most previous research based on mainstream western populations and providing little insight into gambling motivations amongst minority groups. This chapter helps to address this gap in knowledge by examining gambling motivations amongst 1,259 Indigenous Australian respondents to a gambling survey conducted at several Indigenous cultural and sporting events, in Aboriginal communities and online. This survey represents the largest quantitative study of Australian Indigenous gambling to date. Differences in gambling motivations were examined between male and female Indigenous Australians, by main gambling form and by problem gambling severity. While motive orientations were similar to those found in general population surveys, the strength of these motives was proportionately higher amongst the Indigenous Australians, particularly amongst problem gamblers. In particular, the general tendency for women with gambling problems to gamble on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) as an avoidance-based coping mechanism was mirrored in this study, but of additional concern is the higher proportion of Indigenous women who gamble to escape compared to general population figures. Substantial proportions of indigenous men also reported escape-motivated gambling. While substantial efforts are needed to reduce life problems amongst Indigenous Australians and the social and structural inequities they face, providing alternative stress-reduction diversionary activities, promoting better coping strategies and targeted public messaging would also be beneficial to limit gambling-associated harm for this population. © 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)



Martinotti G; BowdenJones H

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Nova Science Publishers

Place of Publication

Hauppauge, NY.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

Southern Cross University

Era Eligible

  • Yes

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