How Gambling Harms Experienced by Pacific People in New Zealand Amplify When They Are Culture-related
Pacific people in New Zealand are a minority ethnic population identified in national prevalence studies as having the highest risk of developing gambling problems. As earlier studies identified some links between culture and gambling for this population, our study aimed to deepen understanding of these links and their role in explaining the disproportionate gambling harms experienced by Pacific people. To achieve this aim we employed intersectionality as a theoretical framework to explore the culture-gambling intersection for this population group. We analysed data from a subset of focus groups conducted for a broad study of gambling harms in New Zealand. The subset was selected based on the presence of individuals knowledgeable about Pacific people’s gambling behaviours, including staff from Pacific problem gambling treatment services who provided examples from a cultural perspective. We identified themes at a latent level via an interpretive process to identify underlying cultural contexts of gambling harms. Findings indicated that whilst harms experienced by Pacific people were similar to those identified amongst the general population, the cultural contexts in which some harms manifested were complex. This paper contributes to the existing knowledge base about gambling harms for Pacific people in relation to six culture-gambling intersecting themes that emerged from the data: collectivism, gift-giving, gambling-based fundraising, patriarchy, beliefs about blessings, and sports celebrities. Findings are discussed in relation to the current knowledge of gambling and conceptualisations of gambling harm within Pacific communities. Implications for culturally appropriate harm minimisation strategies and prevention interventions for this population are suggested.