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Ya got ta know when ta hold ‘em: Maori women and gambling

Gambling among Maori women is under-researched. In this study, I interviewed thirty Maori women to investigate how they got involved in gambling, what maintained their gambling and what they thought might help to moderate their gambling. I found that the whanau was central to understanding these issues. As children, my participants were exposed to gambling within their whanau. As adults, whanau and other social support relationships were an integral part of their gambling, which most commonly occurred in the context of card schools and housie. A sense of reciprocity was important in both forms of gambling. Card schools were reported to be close-knit groups within which the money circulated, giving all a chance to win. By playing housie, the women felt that they were contributing to the welfare of their marae. Through the social bonds of gambling and the acquisition of skills, gambling contributed to these women’s sense of identity. On the other hand, financial and relationship difficulties were identified as negative consequences of gambling. The women felt there was a need for Maori-focused services for problem gambling.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Morrison, L. (1999). Ya got ta know when ta hold ‘em: Maori women and gambling. In Robertson, N. (Ed). Māori and psychology: Research and practice. Proceedings of a symposium sponsored by the Māori & Psychology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Thursday 26th August 1999 (pp.47-53). Hamilton, New Zealand: Māori and Psychology Research Unit, University of Waikato.
Maori and Psychology Research Unit, University of Waikato