Roles of Culture in Gambling and Gambling Disorder

  • T. P. S. OeiEmail author
  • N. Raylu
  • J. M. Y. Loo


The roles of culture in understanding gambling and gambling disorder (GD) as well as the prevention and treatment of problem gambling (PG) are systematically presented. Relevant academic databases as well as other academically grounded published articles, government reports and conference papers accessed via online searches from 1975 to 2016 were used. Our review showed that although there were mixed findings in relation to the rate of gambling, there were strong evidences for higher rates of GD among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) samples compared to Caucasians or the general population. Cultural factors—such as ethnic, familial and national cultures—implicated in the maintenance of problem gambling are important considerations for future theoretical and practical developments in our increasingly globalised populations. Building cultural competencies and openness among various stakeholders (governmental, treatment providers, communities and academia) is a promising pathway in effective remediation and engagement with recovering or help-seeking gamblers and family members. Designing and implementing effective and culturally sensitive prevention and treatment programmes with the assistance of key community and/or religious leaders as well as family members will help minimise gambling among at-risk members, attract CALD problem gamblers (PGs) to treatment as well as treat and retain CALD PGs in treatment. Finally, although it is important to consider the impact of culture on PG, clinicians need to acknowledge CALD clients’ individual differences when devising prevention and treatment plans, and researchers need to acknowledge the fluidity of the concept of culture in their investigations.



Dr. Oei is now an Emeritus Professor of clinical psychology at the University of Queensland and a visiting professor of James Cook University, Singapore; Nanjing University, PR China; and Asia University, Taiwan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.CBT UnitToowong Private HospitalToowongAustralia
  3. 3.James Cook UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health SciencesMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia
  5. 5.Research DepartmentThe Salvation Army—Sydney HeadquartersSydneyAustralia

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