A profile of gambling behaviour and impacts among Indigenous Australians attending a cultural event in New South Wales

Document Type


Publication details

Hing, N, Breen, H, Buultjens, J & Gordon, A 2012, 'A profile of gambling behaviour and impacts among Indigenous Australians attending a cultural event in New South Wales', Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 2012, no. 2, pp. 3-20.

Abstract available from:


Peer Reviewed



This study examines gambling behaviour, gambling motivations, gambling-related problems, impacts of gambling and help-seeking among a sample of Indigenous Australians. The study is exploratory and cross sectional and represents the first quantitative analysis of Indigenous gambling in New South Wales since 1996. With the help of several Indigenous Australian research assistants, a survey was conducted at a 2011 Indigenous arts and cultural event, capturing responses from 277 Indigenous Australian adults. While about one-quarter of respondents gambled on card games in the previous 12 months, nearly three-quarters had gambled on commercial forms of gambling, especially poker machines. Participation rates and weekly gambling on poker machines, keno and wagering, and the proportions of problem and at-risk gamblers, were higher in the Indigenous sample than in the general New South Wales population. While the main reasons for gambling were reported as pleasure and fun, socialising, to relax and the chance to win money, several negative impacts were reported, including financial problems and subsequent reliance on relatives or friends. More than one in ten gamblers also reported gambling had led to household arguments, depression and violence. Distinctive barriers to seeking help for gambling problems included lack of knowledge and confidence about help services and lack of culturally appropriate help services. Although limited by a non-representative sample, this paper highlights some distinctive aspects of Indigenous gambling that warrant further research to inform appropriate public health and treatment measures to address problems associated with contemporary Indigenous gambling.

Find in your library