In many countries around the world, ethnicity plays an important role in determining the risk of a person becoming a problem gambler. In New Zealand specifically, people of Maori and Pasifika descent are more likely to develop gambling addictions than any other local resident.
According to statistics, Maori are 3.5 times more likely to become problem gamblers than any other ethnic group in New Zealand. However, this is a fairly recent phenomenon; in fact, there is no Maori word for “gambling”. It was not until the 1980s that the game emerged as a popular pastime among the Maori community, but the introduction of the activity had a great impact. The Health Ministry estimates that 1 in 16 Maori men and 1 in 24 Maori women are problem gamblers, while a third of the population is at risk.
More than 80% of Maori problem gamblers were first introduced to home activity at a young age. Card games are quite a popular family pastime, but they can be detrimental when it comes to money. Studies show that children who are exposed to gambling are more likely to develop unhealthy habits later in life, and that certainly appears to be the case in the Maori community.
Local gambling operators are also believed to have played a role in the spread of gambling addiction among Maori. The ‘maraes’ are sacred areas where Maori culture can be celebrated, and many of these places display plaques and signs advertising the local lottery commission and other gaming trusts. Casino operators also used their décor to attract Maori individuals, with culture-specific art and carvings.
The Pasifika community (which includes people from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Fiji) have experienced the same struggle with gambling problems in New Zealand casinos. There are fewer problem gamblers in this community, but they spend a lot more money on the vice. While Maori players spend nearly $ 2,000 on the activity each year, Pasifika players spend $ 13,000 on gambling annually.
According to studies conducted by the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, unemployment and low income levels were to blame for the high rates of gambling problems in these communities. A survey revealed that the inhabitants of Samoa and Tonga gamble UFABET for needs. financial opportunities from their homes and that increased employment opportunities could potentially reduce the rates of problem gambling. Concerns have also been raised that there is a high concentration of poker machines in low-income areas, encouraging more people from Pasifika to play. Members of these communities agree that easy access to slots is likely behind the increase in problem gambling rates.