Ethno-Cultural Groups

Gambling, Problem Gambling and Ethno-cultural Communities

In the process of working on this new initiative, we realized that the issue of problem gambling within ethno-cultural groups is very much an issue of access of culturally and linguistically appropriate services and also due to language barriers.

When we talk about ethno-cultural groups, we refer to minority ethno-cultural groups, when ethnicity applies to all groups. Ethnicity has many  multi-dimensional characteristics including nationality, religion, language spoken at home, culture and culture within own’s culture, traditions, social practices, customs, etc., as well as issues of self-identification, place of residence and personal definition of ethnicity.

As stated in the report “Dreaming the Numbers: Ethno-cultural gambling in Ontario (Lorne Tepperman et all, September 2004), “Culture and ethnicity are relevant to gambling behaviour trough culturally produced attitudes towards gambling.  Culture affects gambling patterns among members of a cultural group by affecting their ideas, traditions, social practices, customs and laws.  As members of a cultural group, we inherit and pass on culture trough our institutions, practices, technologies, art forms and modes of discourse” (Shweder 1991).  Thus culture affects nor only the availability of gambling facilities, but people’s attitudes and beliefs about gambling.  Culture determines the attitude and meaning that gambling has for its members, and in this way, culture affects the specific functions of gambling for different cultural groups (Abt et al 1985)