Gambling research

Workshop Report: Regulated Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Aborigines

From remote Northern Territory communities - a Yolgnu case study


This 2009 report is one of a series produced by Charles Darwin University (CDU) on the phenomenon of gambling in the Northern Territory of Australia. Since 2005, the School for Social and Policy Research and it partners have pursued a structured and ongoing research agenda into commercial gambling which has encompassed gambling prevalence, gambling by the Indigenous population, problem gambling, the geography of gambling accessibility, and mechanisms for harm-minimisation. The current report is the latest addition to the body of work produced on the complex role of gambling within the Indigenous population.

This report documents, for the first time, the perspectives on gambling held by people from remote Northern Territory communities who still live customary lifestyles. Through a series of workshops with key individuals in Yolgnu Matha, the report offers a genuine Yolgnu perspective on gambling practices, the meaning of problem gambling, and potential intervention strategies. It is specifically concerned with Yolgnu perceptions of gambling, the histories of, and relationships between, card-games and regulated forms of gambling. It identifies the issues, both positive and negative, with these forms of gambling as well as ways in which government and non-government organisations can engage with communities to manage the effects of gambling.

Fourteen Yolgnu consultants contributed to the project. 

The representation of the findings was further developed through discussions and feedback during a symposium on gambling research at CDU, and will be further developed following feedback from the Community Benefit Fund.


For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643

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Last updated: 16 May 2016

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