Vice of the dice: learning the hard way
(boy, the Aussie journalists sure like their puns)
Australia offers international students opportunities as well as temptations. While low-level social gambling is accepted in parts of Asia, legal gambling opportunities are restricted in the countries where most of our international students are from: China, India, Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Gambling Research Australia estimates that between 17 and 45 per cent of previously non-gambling international students gamble once they arrive on our shores.
The Gambling Research Australia report identifies Chinese and other Asian international students as being particularly vulnerable to gambling addiction. While Asian students are by no means alone in having gambling problems, the report's authors say Chinese and other Asian students, and particularly males, have many risk factors that predispose them to addiction. These include inexperience, isolation and disconnection from family and friends. Close to 50 per cent of the international students in Australia are aged between 20 and 24 and most are under 30. This makes them particularly vulnerable to risky practices such as gambling. Add to these Australia's liberal gambling culture (bursting with casinos, pokies, horses and dogs) and tens of thousands of inexperienced, unsupervised young people with ready access to large amounts of cash (usually provided by their parents for living and tuition expenses) and you have a combustible mix.