This research was undertaken by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology, Bond University and Deakin University.
The research examined the gambling behaviour of international university students compared with domestic university students. It examined a range of psychological risk factors for gambling problems, compared major cultural groups and examined help-seeking options for international students. Research methods were a literature review, and a survey and focus groups with international and domestic students at three Australian universities.
In summary the findings from the report include:
- Many international students are exposed to a greater variety and accessibility of gambling opportunities than in their home countries. They are curious about gambling, particularly at casinos, and many of their peers gamble.
- Although gambling is not an issue for most international students, there appears to be a higher proportion who are problem or at-risk gamblers when compared with the general population. Male international students and those living alone may be the most at risk.
- There was a positive correlation between irrational gambling cognitions and problem gambling amongst international students and they were less knowledgeable about self regulation strategies than domestic students.
- The study found, consistent with previous research that male international students from China were more likely to experience gambling problems. It also found that Chinese females, males from other Asian countries and males from English-speaking western countries are also at-risk groups in terms of gambling problems.
- 20-30 per cent of students did not seek professional help for problems because they were unaware of the services available. Students were more likely to access informal help from their peers and would be more comfortable discussing their problems with someone who understands their culture.
- International student receive little information about gambling risks when they arrive in Australia, so increased education and targeting of new arrivals may be beneficial.
An erratum to the report was provided 19 March 2012 In the Full Technical Report of this research, the author presented a table (Table 1; Section 3.1.1) in which frequent gamblers were defined as people who play the games more than once a month. However, the columns showing % frequent gamblers playing each game actually presented data for those who played the games more than once a week. Data in the table has now been changed to reflect % who played the games more than once a month. Interpretations are not affected, apart from some minor changes to the Discussion section of both the Full Technical Report and the Summary Report. A copy of the erratum can be viewed below.