Aboriginal Australians love to gamble

Australian Aborigines Turn Out to be Big Gamblers

In Australia’s vast, remote countryside, gambling by the Aboriginal Australians is widespread. This is evident from research conducted by the Australian National University.

A considerable part of the population consists of various groups of Aboriginal Australians, the original inhabitants of Australia. They appear to gamble quite lavishly, primarily through poker and blackjack. The games only take place in informal settings, not in a casino, let alone an online casino.

It had already been suspected for some time that Aboriginal Australians in the far north of Australia like to gamble. But now, it has been mapped out who exactly gambles, how often, and for how much money.

Or, in the words of Dr. Marisa Fogarty, principal investigator of the Centre for Gambling at the Australian National University (ANU):

‘Knowing that card games were common, the extent of which is quite staggering!.’

Remarkable: The Card Games for Money are Mainly Played by Women

According to Fogarty, gambling in the Australian Outback has positive and negative sides. On the positive side, she says, the games are organized and played in a social context. That is good for social cohesion. But there is more.

Because while playing the games, the Aborigines speak their languages. That helps keep the languages alive – languages that are no longer spoken usually die out. Another positive point: many gamblers use their winnings to make more significant purchases that they would otherwise have had to save up for. A fridge, for example, or a car.

But in these winnings, there is also the opposing side. Because if someone wins, someone also loses, of course. And that is a less desirable situation.

The university researchers also wonder about the impact on children, who see adults gamble so much and so often. Some games can go on for days.

Some Games are Played for Low Stakes, where Losing is Not so Bad

‘In the afternoon, lower level and slower games are played, more like in the mothers’ group. Women with babies and a few older women play these games.’

In a way, it is perhaps not surprising that Aboriginal Australians like a good gamble: in no country in the world is gambling so common as in Australia.