Problem gambling service providers (including Gambler's Help agencies and Primary Care partnerships) need to be able to respond to cultural and linguistic diversity in their clients.
This should include:
- Working with CALD communities to increase access to services
- Providing translating and interpreting services to clients who require them
- Offering in-language counselling services where available
- Offering shared or co-counselling arrangement with ethno-specific agencies
These requirements are part of the Operational Guidelines for Gambler's Help Services, available on the Problem Gambling Professionals website.
The Multicultural Gambler's Help Program has been contracted by the Office of Gaming and Racing to support Gambler's Help agencies in service planning, design and capacity building.
Contact us for support, or find out more by clicking on the links in the right-hand column.
How gambling affects migrant and refugee communities
Problem gambling affects different people in different ways. Culture, ethnicity, settlement, family life and language can all affect the way people gamble, and how they develop and respond to gambling problems.
People who are newly arrived in Australia can experience a range of settlement pressures that can increase vulnerability to problem gambling. For example:
People who are struggling to support a large family, or need to send money overseas, may see gambling as a way to raise large amounts of money quickly.
Loneliness and boredom
People who are socially isolated may see gambling as a way to entertain themselves, especially because they do not need a high level of English proficiency to play the pokies or other games.
Conflicting norms and values
Most migrants and refugees experience some level of conflict between the cultural values of their country of birth and those in Australia. This can lead people to develop misleading perceptions about some behaviours, eg that gambling is an important way to fit in with Australian culture.
Access to recreational services
If people cannot access recreational services (due to language or other barriers) they may be more inclined to see gambling as a convenient and available form of recreation.
Gambling is associated with shame and stigma in many cultures. People may not disclose or seek help for their gambling problems because they fear rejection from their community.