(from the jacket) The Chinese are known throughout the world as avid gamblers with a long history of participation in games of chance. Historians have documented wagering on such games as far back as the early Chinese dynasties. Despite measures by ancient Chinese rulers to contain gambling, it proliferated, and Chinese games have evolved and multiplied since then. Desmond Lam provides a unique look into the little-known world of Chinese gambling from historical, cultural, psychological, and social perspectives. Chinese gamblers regularly patronize casinos in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The recent expansion of gambling in East Asia has attracted much global media attention. Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is now legal, easily surpasses Las Vegas as the world's largest casino gaming market. Each year, Chinese from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan account for almost 90 percent of visitors to Macau. The expansion of the Chinese gambling industry has brought about much harm to Chinese communities, despite all of the development it has also stimulated. This book is the first to examine the beliefs, motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of Chinese gamblers, and will be of interest to students of history and sociology, as well as those studying the history and culture of China.