Aboriginal card gamblers and non-card gamblers: do they differ?

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Hing, N, Breen, H, Gordon, A & Russell, A 2014, 'Aboriginal card gamblers and non-card gamblers: do they differ?', International Gambling Studies, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 228-250.

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Many Indigenous populations engage in traditional gambling games, but little is known about their contemporary usage or the characteristics of people who participate. This paper presents the first quantitative study of traditional Indigenous Australian card gambling. The aim of this research was to compare Indigenous Australian card gamblers with non-card gamblers in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, gambling behaviour and motivations, gambling cognitions, gambling consequences, substance use while gambling and problem gambling severity. A gambling survey was conducted at Indigenous festivals, in several communities and online. Within a sample of 1001 gamblers, 414 people had gambled on traditional card games in the previous 12 months. Many card gamblers commenced gambling while young, were highly involved in both cards and commercial gambling and gambled because most of their family and friends also gamble. An important difference revealed here is that card gamblers gamble on more forms of commercial gambling than non-card gamblers. Gambling appears as a deep-seated habit in some participants' lives and although the proportion classified as problem gamblers is high in this sample the card gamblers held more realistic cognitions about chances of winning than did the non-card gamblers.

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