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A public health approach for Asian people with problem gambling in foreign countries

Samson Tse, John Wong, Hyeeun Kim

Abstract


There has been a rapid increase in Asian immigration to English-speaking countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Anecdotal accounts and research suggest high levels of participation in gambling by people from Asian countries. Asian problem gambling is seen as being a social rather than an individual problem compounded by difficulties with post-migration adjustment. Contemporary public health perspectives are not limited to the biological and behavioural dimensions, but can also address socioeconomic determinants such as income, employment, poverty, and access to social and healthcare services related to gambling and health. This paper discusses how a public health viewpoint can lead to effective strategies against problem gambling. The five principles proposed in this paper are: (1) acknowledging similarities and differences within Asian populations, (2) ensuring that strategies are evidence-based, (3) treating Asian problem gambling in an acculturation framework, (4) addressing the issue of shame associated with problem gambling among Asian people, and (5) targeting at-risk sub-groups.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2004.12.13

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