Betting on the evidence: reported gambling problems among the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory
Stevens, M & Young, M 2010, 'Betting on the evidence: reported gambling problems among the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 556-565.
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Objectives: To address a shortfall in evidence with which to justify gambling-specific interventions for the Indigenous population, we analysed two surveys (2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey and General Social Survey) that contain information on reported gambling problems for the NT.
Methods: Estimates of reported gambling problems are presented for each state and territory by remoteness for the Indigenous and total population for 2002. Factor analysis was used to identify the relationship between gambling problems and other negative life events for the NT Indigenous and total population.
Results: High levels of reported gambling problems were apparent for the Indigenous population particularly in the remote parts of the NT and Queensland. Gambling problems were associated with other stressors relating to social transgressions. Among the NT Indigenous population, gambling problems were correlated with levels of crowding, community involvement, personal and community violence and self-assessed health status.
Conclusions: The high levels of reported gambling problems suggest that gambling is causing significant problems for Indigenous people. The multivariable adjusted associations indicate that gambling-related problems are intimately connected to a range of community contexts.
Implications: Policies of intervention need to address broader social and environmental contexts that are intrinsically associated with gambling (and associated problems), in addition to public education in harm associated with gambling and provision of counselling services to assist problem gamblers.