Limited research exists into the behaviour and perspectives of LGBTIQ+ communities in relation to gambling.
This project involved two separate studies:
- Study One: a quantitative investigation into the relationship between LGBTIQ+ status and gambling behaviour, the degree to which LGBTIQ+ status moderated the relationship between psychosocial factors and gambling-related harm, and the degree to which perceived discrimination and stigma were associated with gambling-related harm.
- Study Two: a qualitative pilot investigation into how LGBTIQ+ people characterise their engagement with gambling, how experiences of discrimination and stigma intersect with gambling experiences, and the factors influencing why a LGBTIQ+ person may or may not decide to access services for concerns with their gambling practices.
This study consisted of an online survey, which compared the experiences of cishet (cisgender and heterosexual) and LGBTIQ+ participants. LGBTIQ+ participants reported statistically significantly lower levels of problem gambling, fewer gambling-related harms, and fewer friends who gambled. This group also reported higher levels of psychological distress, higher levels of impulsivity, and lower levels of resilience.
When compared with cishet participants, LGBTIQ+ participants were more likely to participate in instant scratch tickets and keno, and spent higher amounts of money on bingo.
This pilot exploratory study interviewed LGBTIQ+ people who gamble, and key stakeholders from community health and gambling support services, to understand their experiences with gambling and their experiences with accessing gambling support.
Interview participants all engaged in gambling, with the majority engaging in recreational gambling behaviour, such as attending electronic gaming machine (EGM) venues and buying Lotto tickets. Those who socialised more in LGBTIQ+ venues tended to be less likely to gamble, as these venues do not contain EGMs. Those who gambled on their own typically visited EGM venues as they are open late and are deemed to be “safe spaces”.
Five pathways to gambling emerged from the interviews, which also uncovered that some people found gambling less accessible due to heteronormative themes in advertisements, and that some people used gambling to avoid dealing with their LGBTIQ+ status or the stress of coming out.
Rachel Bush, Alex M. T. Russell, Andrea Waling, Petra K. Staiger, and Nicki A. Dowling 2021, Examining risk and protective factors for the development of gambling-related harms and problems in Victorian LGBTIQ+ communities, Melbourne.