Is Gambling a Charity? Asian Kiwis Opinion


During New Zealand’s first Covid-19 lockdown, it was recorded that 49.8% of New Zealanders of Asian descent took part in online gambling. This percentage seems to be significantly higher than the general national average calculated to be only 30.2%, according to a poll carried out by Asian family services.

In the past 12 months, 66% of Asians living in New Zealand have taken part in gambling. The most likely gambling activities they engage in are buying a lotto, Powerball, or strike tickets. From online poker to flashy casinos, gambling boasts of dopamine hit on those who engage in it and is followed by a feeling of satisfaction when you win.

According to local studies of Asian communities in New Zealand, it has been discovered that people living in such communities are vulnerable to gambling addiction, likely for cultural reasons. They prefer playing at CasinoDeps minimum deposit brands to try their luck and make some help to the charity. The University of Auckland found in research that people of Asian descent are susceptible gamblers mainly because of their values and cultural beliefs in luck and superstition. Because the Chinese have the notion of luck and superstition well and bedded in their traditions and culture, they happened to be the most predisposed Asian group.

It is not uncommon to hear the Chinese say that if a person doesn’t gamble, they do not know how lucky they are. A saying such as this reflects the addictive and compulsive nature of gambling and how connected such games like poker, mahjong, blackjack, and dice are with Chinese values of fortune, luck, numerology, and fate.

Going by information made available by psychology today, winning and losing in Chinese culture is attached to a heavier sense of identification than it is in the West. These factors are tied to a person’s sense of self.

Andrew Zhu, the researcher who carried out the ancient family service poll, claims that in most Asian nations, lottery games are promoted as charitable acts; this is also the case in New Zealand. Out of the 20 individuals interviewed, not even one classified themselves as a gambler. However, they all agreed that buying the lottery was an easy way to give back to the community, and not buying it would mean missing out on an opportunity to get a superior lifestyle through winning.

According to Zhu’s research, it was discovered that the typical Asian Gambler in New Zealand is a retired Chinese lady above 50, who has been in the country for below one year.

Zhu adds that for his grandfather, who is a retiree or Chinese-kiwi descent in his sixties, any form of gambling is good enough. The Lotto counter at the world end has the same lure as the Addington Raceway and the Christchurch casino. Zhu recalls how his grandpa went there every week until he died.

Among Asians, being a recent migrant to a western country is a significant driver for gambling. This may be due to the sense of community that casinos and pubs provide. Casino gaming can easily be a form of socialization for individuals who desire social inclusion. This, according to psychology today, has become one of the marketing strategies used by casinos to get Asian customers together with the community charities. By offering Asian migrants free transportation, Asian entertainment, ethnic food, and even Asian speaking card dealers, casinos know every trick in the book to get their target customers.

Nevertheless, gambling tendencies are not only a Chinese phenomenon in the Asian context. It has been estimated that 3.2 million people in Japan are addicted to one form of gambling or another (possibly the famous type known as pachinko).  Pachinko is an arcade form of gambling that is much like the Western slot machine kind of gambling. While it is technically legal, Japan alone has over 12000 pachinko parlours that do not conform to criminal laws due to its cultural value.

In Thailand, illegal casinos are quite popular, regardless of stringent laws against their operation. A 2019 study revealed that 75% of Thais are gamblers, with the youngest gambler interviewed being seven years of age.

In the United States of America, refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have an alarming gambling prevalence rate of 59% among those in the South Eastern population.  Timothy Dong of UCLA thinks that gambling lawyers individuals from a Lower socioeconomic group with a chance to get out of poverty.

According to researchers by the University of Auckland, Fiona Rossen, and Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj, an ecological approach can help reduce Addiction and problem gambling amongst Asian Kiwi communities. They feel that Asian Communities have cultural strength that can help protect against gambling, including family connectedness and respect, the stigma attached to gambling, spirituality, and religion.

 Ultimately the solution here is making help-seeking a normal thing. And this should involve offering culturally appropriate services, enhancing support for reconstructing families,  creating awareness about problem gambling behaviors, and teaching alternative ways to relieve stress.  Another thing that is equally vital to tackle such issues is creating more appropriate social spaces for Asian migrants to integrate into the New Zealand Society.