The aim of the research project was to explore the gambling and life experiences of CALD populations and identify differences, if any, between CALD and non-CALD populations in the interrelationships between gambling problems and other items on the Negative Life Event Scale.

Survey data used for this project were from the 2002 and 2006 General Social Survey obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The findings demonstrated that the CALD population experiences lower levels of negative life events (or life stressors) compared to the non-CALD population. Between 2002 and 2006 these events declined within the CALD population.

In 2006, problem gambling within the CALD population compared to the general population was at significantly lower levels. In both 2002 and 2006 the non-CALD population reported gambling problems as part of a cluster of social transgression behaviour (e.g. violence, alcohol/drug use), but in contrast this was not a reported feature for the CALD population in either of these years.

However, within the CALD population particular sub-populations could have higher rates of gambling problems especially for those people originating from New Zealand and Oceania. (The ABS defines Oceania as Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia (except Hawaii). (ABS 1268.0 Standards Australian classification of Countries, 1998.)

Gambling problems were found to be associated with negative life events of divorce, separation, death of a family member, knowing someone in a serious accident and mental illness. It is likely that gambling is employed as a coping mechanism for negative life events.