What Do People in Southeast Asia Think of Casinos?
Gambling is quickly becoming one of the most popular adult activities across the globe. Not only are casinos and online websites opening up on a regular basis, allowing patrons to gamble at a higher rate than ever before, but governments are seeing the lucrative benefits of this industry. It is enabling them to be able to find new sources of revenue to support projects and programs they feel are essential in governing their countries.
This is true in Southeast Asia as well. Casinos have opened in countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, and more are expected to open within the next decade. With so many of these facilities popping up, it would seem that gambling is a popular activity in the region. However, is this really true? What is the attitude of people in Southeast Asia regarding casinos?
It would be easy to conclude that gambling is as popular in Southeast Asia as it is in places like Europe and North America. There are several casinos throughout the region, and many that do not have physical land-based casinos are benefiting from online options.
Just as an example, on the Malaysian page of slots.info people can find many websites offering casino style games to people throughout the region. This means that if you live in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and other areas where there are no physical casinos or where gambling is illegal, you can still play roulette, blackjack, poker, or slot games.
There is a clear trend when it comes to online casinos at the moment. More and more people rely on these platforms to play their favorite games since at the moment they don’t have access to most land-based casinos or the atmosphere there is quite different from what they remember.
Great Options Available
One thing that many in Southeast Asia are enjoying is the various games that are available to them. It is not just because of availability or lockdowns that so many are drawn to these games. In places like Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, online casinos are becoming extremely popular. This is quite surprising in a place like Indonesia, where gambling is illegal, but surrounding countries that offer the online options are accessible in Indonesia.
Some of these games are more challenging to learn. To be successful in games like poker it requires players to learn to read other participants as much as it does to understand the rules. This is why a lot of players are jumping into games like blackjack, slots, and blackjack games. It’s a very small learning curve to get in on the action and choosing to play these games enables players to play and have a good chance of being successful right away.
But What Do They Think?
To understand the attitudes, it starts with an examination of how and why people gamble. In a study conducted by Northstar, they concluded that the vast majority of Southeast Asians gambled as part of a social activity. Much of the gambling was centered around activities like animal competitions, celebrations, lotteries, and games of chance aware there were numerous participants. Rarely did people gamble in isolation, although the study found that this was changing to a degree.
The study found that there was a legitimate concern about the potential for addiction, but a more serious issue surrounded the finding that many who were gambling were concerned about “losing face.” What was meant by this is that gamblers may stay involved in a game or will place additional wagers if they feel they are looking bad. Pride was a significant factor, it was concluded.
Addiction Is an Issue
While there was some concern regarding the effects of addiction, there was little data to support the idea that Southeast Asians were foolishly spending money. Some were using the family budget, causing severe financial hardships, but this was not as prevalent at that time.
However, this is becoming a bigger issue now. In an article published in Psychology Today, they recognized one of the major issues affecting gambling addiction within the Asian community is the belief in good fortune or luck. Because many in this culture believe that luck is playing a part in their lives, they have subsequently concluded that it can impact their success in gambling. All they have to do is get on a “lucky” streak.
Researchers found that, in the United States, Asians were disproportionately more likely to become pathological gamblers. It was this attitude about luck that spurred much of the addictive behavior. The problem was even worse for refugees from Southeast Asia, where they showed addiction ranges anywhere from 6% to nearly 60% in certain communities.
Adding to the problem was the social aspect of gambling. Many were not choosing this activity simply because they believed good fortune was coming their way. They were doing so because it was part of a community activity. This is why rates of addiction were extremely high in some communities, primarily because virtually everyone in the community was involved in gambling in some fashion.
The researchers also found that there was no need for a legal operation to be available. Games and animal competitions were available for gambling, regardless of whether they were legal or not. The illegal nature of the activities was felt to act as a further enticement, as the illegality became a sort of beacon drawing many to these activities.
The Big Events!
The problem gets even worse when there are special times of the year, such as New Year’s. Because these are seen as lucky times, it is not surprising that many turn to gambling activities during these events. There are already numerous card games that are associated with some of these holidays, and so it becomes a natural thing for Southeast Asians to partake in these activities at these times of the year.
For those living abroad, new holidays have been added to the equation. Those in the United States can celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. There are numerous holidays in Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, and other areas that Asians have added to their own list of reasons to celebrate. This is increasing gambling addiction exponentially.
What Can Be Done?
When an issue like this arises, health experts look for possible solutions to these types of addictions. In many cultures there are steps that could be taken to help reduce the problem, but that may not be possible for Southeast Asians.
There is a huge cultural paradigm to overcome here, and experts are recognizing that changes in behavior can only occur if the entire culture is modified or taught an entirely different way to think of a core element of their belief system. That is not an easy task at all.
This is especially true when many Southeast Asians are moving to countries where gambling is legal and readily available. There are very few places in the West where a person is unable to find a casino or an online site to be able to play games. Therefore, trying to change the attitudes regarding gambling when it is so readily available to them is nearly impossible. ***