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Talking about Casino Gambling: Community Voices from Boston Chinatown


  • Prepared By: Carolyn Wong; Giles Li
  • Release Date: October 24, 2019

This pilot study examined the casino gambling practices of residents and workers in Boston Chinatown. The aim was to learn about the trajectory and life context of individual participants’ gambling activity, including how individual participants describe their motivation, nature and frequency of gambling, and its effects on self and family. The research was conducted by a university based research team in partnership with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, and with the assistance of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling.

The stories told by participants illustrate multiple and overlapping risk factors for problem gambling. Our conceptual approach took into account the dynamic interaction of risk factors from multiple sources: stressors in participants’ daily lives rooted in socio-economic conditions, exposure to targeted marketing aimed at Chinese immigrants inside and outside the casino, casino inducements, family contexts, and individual-level psychological and/or emotional factors. Protective factors include the support of social networks or families.

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