The most detailed study to date of Pacific people’s gambling and the impacts of problem gambling in New Zealand has been carried out by AUT University researchers.
The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Health to improve understanding of the impact of gambling on Pacific people, inform risk factors and better understand causes of problem gambling.
Lead researcher Dr Maria Bellringer, Associate Director of the AUT Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, says: “We found that attitudes and behaviour were influenced by a lack of gambling opportunities in Pacific island countries as well as deep-rooted cultural, religious and church influenced views.”
Researchers conducted one-on-one interviews and focus groups with 112 participants from the major Pacific ethnicities living in New Zealand: Samoan, Tongan, and Cook Islands. They also extracted previously unanalysed data from nearly 2,000 Pacific participants from three earlier studies.
Pacific people have consistently been reported at higher risk for developing problem gambling than other ethnicities. But until now there has been little gambling-related Pacific-specific research.
Dr Bellringer says: “This study has significantly increased our knowledge of why Pacific people do or do not gamble, and why some are at higher risk of developing problem gambling. More work is needed to raise awareness of the potential destructiveness of problem gambling to Pacific families and communities.”
Media enquiries or for a copy of the executive summary:
Communications Manager, AUT University
09 921 9688
021 632 309
For more information:
Dr Maria Bellringer
Senior Research Fellow, AUT University Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences
Associate Director, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre
DDI: 09 921 9999 extn. 7232