chapter  5
22 Pages

Social Impact of Gambling in Chinese Societies

ByDesmond Lam

Gambling has brought considerable economic benefit to Chinese societies since ancient times. In the past, gambling in China was often associated with illegal triads or secret societies, corruption, and drugs. To prevent widespread social problems and to preserve harmony in Chinese society, some imperial rulers banned gambling dens or any activities that allowed people to gather and place large gambling stakes. Gambling was painted as an immoral activity that should be avoided to preserve the Confucian-type social order and integrity. Problem gambling is often defined as the continuation of gambling despite harms caused by gamblers to themselves, family, relatives, and those around them. Chinese males are more likely to report higher gambling frequency and a higher problem-gambling rate than Chinese females. Problem gambling in Chinese societies has led to more serious social issues, such as domestic violence and suicides. The social impact of gambling remains a major concern for governments and many ordinary Chinese people.