Acculturation and gambling in Asian Americans: When culture meets availability

Abstract

Research shows that culture influences gambling behaviours. While there is anecdotal evidence about the pervasiveness of gambling and the seriousness of problems in Asian communities in the US, there is little information in the academic literature on acculturation and its effect on gambling behaviours in Asian populations. This study found that gambling prevalence in the Asian population is much lower, but the rate of problem gambling is higher than or equal to that in the general population of the US. Higher gambling availability in the US, combined with a gambling-permissive Asian culture, seems to contribute to an increase in gambling participation and problem gambling in Asians living in western countries. The results highlight the importance of investigating acculturation in gambling behaviours among diverse Asian American ethnic groups. In addition, measures should be developed that take into account gambling culture in order to design culturally responsive treatment/prevention programs for Asian Americans.

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