Asian Gambling, Culture and addiction|en

[ 12-09-2016 ]
Asian Gambling, Culture and addiction

The following article is a printed version of  the newspaper called “Gambling seen as No-Win situation for some Asians”  written by John M. Glionna from Los Angeles Times, which is initially published on January, 16th 2006. The paper analyses how popular gambling becomes among Asian Americans, the relationship between gambling and Asian culture plus some possible consequences gambling addictions result in.

Gambling - An arising issue in the community

In such countries as China, Vietnam, Philippine and Cambodia, social workers and leaders are putting pressure on both gaming officials and state legislators in order to identify an underlying outbreak. According to Timothy Fong, the co-director from the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, warned that this problem currently exists while carrying out an Asian gambling study.  

No one is truly aware of the serious level of gambling that comes to Asian communities since Asian people have not been categorized as a group in national or California studies related to this issue. However, a vote in the year of 1999 taking place in San Francisco’s Chinatown and sponsored by a social services agency pointed out that there were 70% out of 1,808 participants considering gambling as their community’s leading problem.

Based on another different poll, 21% of people regarded themselves as addicted gamblers whereas 16% admitted being problem gamblers, which are substantially higher than the general population rates. Existing figures illustrate that 1.6% among American citizens are likely to be named as pathological gamblers, understood as a sign of a psychiatric disorder. The remaining 3% are problem gamblers.

In America, gambling has been becoming a source of entertainment in free time among adults. Every single year, much more amount of money is spent on the 75-billion gaming industry of the country than that on other fields namely movies, concerts, sporting events and leisure parks as well. Besides, it seems that when it comes to gambling no place can be compared with California which consists of nearly 60 Indian casinos, card rooms’ scores, Internet gambling sites  as well as the nation’s most successful state lotteries.

That success is attributed to Asian gamblers’ important role. Although statistics on those people’s contribution to the nation’s gambling pot are inconsiderable and rare, some casinos and card rooms next to Los Angeles and San Francisco measure that Asian people make up for 80% their clients. Wendy Waldorf, the Cache Creek Casino’s spokeperson said that Asians were like a huge and main market to provide services.

On a daily basis in San Gabriel, Monterey Park and Chinatown in San Francisco, scores of buses are responsible for picking up Asian-gambling customers for free trips to Indian casinos, Reno plus Las Vegas. A large number of Nevada casinos’ business offices are still sustainable in Monterey Park where hosts remain their relationship with Asian high rollers. With the aim of reaching more ordinary gamblers, casinos produce advertisements printed in Asian languages, make them public to the media and create direct-mailing campaigns to ZIP Codes with the high concentration of Asian residents.

Asian Gambling Tradition

Several Asians particularly Chinese find gambling acceptable as a practice at home at social events and among youngsters. As for Chinese young people, they usually use money while gambling with other family members such as aunts, uncles and grandparents. In the process of growing up in Chinatown, Lee started betting at ridiculous levels like whether his teacher might assign homework or what kinds of things will firstly drop at the bottom of the classroom window.

Many Chinese are surprised by the fact that supernatural identification of fortune, destiny and chance. The Chinese New Year (Jan.29) is the time when bad luck of the old year will be swept out by the new year’s good luck. Numerology also shows an imperative role in many Asian cultures. For some reason, as opposed to number 8 – China’s lucky symbol, the number 4 refers to death and should be avoided.

In spite of the fact that Chinese people have a strong faith in those concepts mentioned above, contrasting cultures like Vietnamese, Korean and Filipino possess the same beliefs which are influenced by China’s political issue or by the immigration among Chinese residents. Professionals reckon that recent Asian immigrants who dare to encounter risks to abandon their homelands behind are able to foster more forceful gambling strategies than their U.S



Losing many things in addition to money because of gambling

On the other hand, such kinds of gaming habits also display negative side effects. Paul Osaki, belonging to a gambling task force established last year by the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs claimed that a significant amount of money spent on gambling industry rather than on the support of Asian community. He added it was not just about the material but is quality of life money, college education fees.

Osaki and other other activists would like to conduct more research as well as treatment programs in terms of cultural gambling sensitivitity for reserved Asian people who went through gambling problems. As for those like Gamblers Anonymous, Western strategies are barely effective. Kent Woo, executive director organized the gambling polls of a Chinatown-based health coaliation, thought that the most challenging things is to persuade the whole community that it is actually a problem.




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