Senior gambling in Hong Kong: Through the lenses of Chinese senior gamblers - an exploratory study

[thumbnail of art%3A10.1186%2Fs40405-014-0004-y.pdf]
art%3A10.1186%2Fs40405-014-0004-y.pdf - Published Version (426kB)
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Ohtsuka, Keis ORCID: 0000-0002-2338-0697 and Chan, Chi Chuen (2014) Senior gambling in Hong Kong: Through the lenses of Chinese senior gamblers - an exploratory study. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 4 (1). ISSN 2195-3007 (electronic)


The meanings of gambling among senior gamblers in Hong Kong were investigated using semi-structured interviews based on an ethnographic approach. 18 senior gamblers (10 men; 8 women) over the age of 55 years were asked to describe their childhood, adolescent and early adult experience and developmental history of gambling and gambling trajectories. They also completed the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index. Most senior gamblers (n = 15) were non-problem gamblers, except 3 participants who were classified as pathological gamblers. The majority of the senior gamblers began their lifelong gambling career when they were young. Their family members often introduced the participants to gambling. Some participants reported that an early big win was a focal memorable experience in their early gambling history. Women played mahjong most frequently, whereas men gambled on horse races and sports betting such as football lotteries. The main motivation of gambling for older adult women was socialisation with friends, whereas older adult men were motivated to gamble because of potential financial gain. To senior women, games of mahjong with friends have provided an oasis and a comfort zone, within which they can find peace and comfort away from hustles of daily life. Cultural conditions in Hong Kong and their link to senior gambling have been also discussed.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Additional Information

Article 4

Item type Article
DOI 10.1186/s40405-014-0004-y
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords senior gambling, Chinese gambling in Hong Kong, ethnographic approach, older adult gamblers
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login