A Cultural History of Chinese Gambling II (From Ming Dynasty to Qing Dynasty)

  • Chi Chuen Chan
  • William Wai Lim Li
  • Amy Sau Lam Chiu


Rachel Volberg and Robert Williams, in an excellent review on the epidemiology of gambling, once wrote: “Gambling is a broad concept that includes diverse activities, undertaken in a wide variety of settings, appealing to different types of people, and perceived in various ways. People participate because they enjoy and obtain benefits from gambling activities. For most people, gambling is generally a positive experience; however, for a minority, gambling is associated with difficulties of varying severity and duration” (Volberg and Williams 2014, p. 26). What Volberg and Williams are arguing, contrary to traditional Chinese morals as we have seen in Chap.  1, is that gambling, as a social activity, is not a social problem in itself since a great number of individuals find joy and excitement in gambling. In this chapter, we will critically examine Volberg and Williams’s assertion against the nature and scope of gambling from the Ming Dynasty to the end of Chinese feudal period, i.e., the Qing Dynasty. Our purpose is to investigate what gambling activities meant to the Chinese during these periods from cultural and historical perspectives.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi Chuen Chan
    • 1
  • William Wai Lim Li
    • 1
  • Amy Sau Lam Chiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Upper Iowa University - Hong Kong CenterHong KongHong Kong

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