If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time. ~ Chinese Proverb
Asians love to gamble. It is such a customary feature of life among them that they consider it to be normal and part of their culture. In fact Asians are some of the biggest gamblers in the world today. Asia is the largest gambling market in the world maybe because Asia makes up the 60% of the world’s population. This passion also extends to online gambling at a variety of online casinos and betting sites. The online gambling market in Asia is experiencing a consistent growth because of the increasing trend in the use of mobile devices and accessibility to the internet.
Why are Asian men so passionate about gambling? The strong belief in fate, luck and fortune is the driving force behind Asians great passion for gambling. Most Chinese believe in this concept but other Asian cultures including Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Filipino, hold similar beliefs. China’s political influence in their history and migration help to develop the love for gambling. The high proportion of Asian gamblers is rooted in the deep cultural factors which encourage gambling but discourage professional help when it becomes addictive.
There are a number of cultural factors that influence gambling among Asian men. The Asian culture view gambling as a social activity compared with the western society. Asians are brought up in an atmosphere of gambling at home. It is an accepted practice at home especially during social events. In social gatherings such as wedding or parties, it is quite normal for people to play games all night with money at stake. When family members meet, they enjoy playing cards and other games together. Most Asian youths often gamble for money with uncles, aunts and grandparents. Having money on the game increases the motivation to start gambling.
The most popular forms of gambling for Asians are:
Lottery – the drawing of lots for a prize is outlawed by some Asian governments, while others endorsed it. Lotteries are legalized by the government in several countries. Some of them even organize national or state lottery.
Baccarat – most children play this game and the love for it carries over into adulthood. This is the most popular game in Macau casinos.
Mahjong – this game that originated in Chine is an important part of Asian culture, some legends attribute its creation to Confucius in 500 BC.
Sic Bo – this game challenges player to predict the outcome of three rolled dice. This popular in the Philippines and Macau
Pai Gow – this is played with a set of 32 Chinese dominos, the game remained largely unaltered since its creation over 1,000 years ago.
Gambling is deeply rooted in Asian culture. Some of the factors that contribute to Asian men’s passion for gambling are entertainment, response to poverty and socialization. Asian immigrants to western countries have bought their passion for gambling with them. A research made by the UCLA Gambling Studies Program found that 80% of casino patrons in many casinos in the State of California are Asians. The study also shows that Asians have a disproportionate number of addicted gamblers compared to the general American population. The rate of gambling addiction ranges from 6% to nearly 60% depending on Asian ethnicity.
Gambling is by far the addiction of choice among Asian men after tobacco and alcohol. This is becoming a bigger issue than drug abuse in terms of destroying families and disrupting lives. The ruinous effects of gambling are permanent damage to families including abuse, divorce, financial problem and generational debt. The incidence of gambling issues in the Asian community among elderly is quite high, especially for older seniors suffering from depression and loneliness. In most Asian communities’ abroad social workers, leaders and cultural groups like ACM Asian Cultural Group are pressuring gaming officials and legislators to consider the growing epidemic of gambling addiction.
If you visit a casino, you’ll see how many Asian people have a strong love of gambling. Most Asian men look to gambling as a form of socialization. This constant gambling activities has become a problematic issue in many Asian communities like the Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean populations. Some activist are looking for ways to create awareness about gambling addiction and bad practices that resulted from gambling problems. Asian advocates are trying to change the perception that gambling addiction is not just a moral issue but a mental health to overcome the stigma associated with gambling addiction.