CALD population has less gambling problems than non-CALD population

A study comparing Australia’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD) to its non-CALD population suggests that the CALD population as a whole experience significantly lower levels of gambling problems than the non-CALD population.

The research project aimed to identify any differences between CALD and non-CALD populations and the connection between gambling problems and other events listed on the Negative Life Events Scale.

Other events on the scale include: serious illness or disability; alcohol or drug related problems; sackings and redundancy; witnessing violence; being a victim of abuse or violent crime and trouble with the police.

The study reveals that the 2006 CALD population experienced lower levels of negative life events (or life stressors) when compared to the non-CALD population and the 2002 CALD population.

When compared to the non-CALD population, problem gambling in the CALD population in 2006 (1.3 per cent) had fallen two percent since 2002.

The research team, from the Charles Darwin University, School for Social Policy and Research, concludes that this decline in reported gambling problems might be due to a range of economic and social factors.

In 2002 and 2006 the non-CALD population reported gambling problems as part of a cluster of social violations (e.g. acts of violence, alcohol/drug use). However, such behaviour is not identified as a feature for the CALD population in those years.

Interestingly, while in 2002 gambling problems in the CALD population were likely to be linked to negative life events such as divorce, separation and a death in the family, in 2006 gambling problems were likely to be linked only to mental illness.

Gambling Research Australia released the full report, Correlates of Reported Gambling Problems in the CALD Population of Australia (2010), in February 2011.