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Open Access Research article

Views on luck and winning, self-control, and gaming service expectations of culturally and linguistically diverse Australian poker machine gamblers

Keis Ohtsuka

Author Affiliations

School of Social Sciences & Psychology, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne 8001, Australia

Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health 2013, 3:9  doi:10.1186/2195-3007-3-9

Published: 12 March 2013

Abstract

Despite an increase in social diversity in recent years, the role of culture in gambling cognition and behaviour is not fully understood. Qualitative interviews examined subjective views of Australian poker machine (electronic gaming machine) gamblers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. A total of 49 Australian poker machine gamblers from CALD backgrounds (20 Chinese, 15 Vietnamese and 14 Greek Australians) were interviewed regarding their views on the concept of luck and winning, self control, subjective meanings of gambling and gaming venue service expectations. The current findings showed that the majority of poker machine gamblers from CALD backgrounds believed that the payout of poker machines occurred randomly. Luck was defined, therefore, as being at the right place at the right time when the poker machine pays out. However, a small number of interviewees maintained an optimistic view about achieving gambling wins by using a certain system. While experienced gamblers and those with secondary school qualification or lower regarded poker machine gambling as a random potluck, a few young players with university education subscribed to a more elaborate endorsement in favour of their own systems to win on the poker machine. Australian CALD gamblers valued friendly professional service from gaming venue staff (e.g., courteous customer service, affordable, quality food and drink, personal greetings using first names) but disliked intrusive or over-friendly interactions. Implications of the findings on the role of superstition and cognition on gamblers’ beliefs are discussed.

Keywords:
Culture and gambling; Electronic gaming machine (EGM) gambling; Poker machine gambling; Illusion of control