Gambling Behaviour, Problem Gambling and Reasons for Gambling Among International Students in Tasmania, Australia

  • Jonathan MondEmail author
  • Sarah Skromanis
  • Terry Purton
  • Nick Cooling
  • Frances Fan
  • Keith Harris
  • Heather Bridgman
  • Jennifer Presser
  • Bryan Rodgers
Original Paper


Individuals who undertake tertiary study outside their home countries (“international students”) may be at increased risk of problem gambling behaviour. To inform this issue, we examined gambling behaviour, problem gambling behaviour and reasons for gambling among international students, primarily from Asian countries, attending university in Tasmania, Australia. Online surveys that included established measures of each outcome were completed by these students (n = 382) along with a comparison group of domestic students (n = 1013). While most forms of gambling assessed were less common among international students than among domestic students, rates of problem gambling were higher among international students (2.6%) than among domestic (1.4%) students. Further, whereas rates of problem gambling did not differ by sex among domestic students, problem gambling among international students was confined to males. Hence, rates of problem gambling were markedly elevated in this subgroup (5% of all male international students, 15% of male international students who reported any form of gambling in the past 12 months). International students were more likely than domestic students to report engaging in gambling as a means of regulating their internal states and for a challenge and these and other reasons for gambling were positively correlated with problem gambling behaviour. The findings support the need for population- and campus-based health promotion and early intervention programs targeting international students, male students in particular. Information concerning individuals’ reasons for gambling might usefully be included in these programs.


University students College students International students Gambling Problem gambling Reasons for gambling Australia 



This study was funded by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (Grant Number 4200).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Mond
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Sarah Skromanis
    • 1
  • Terry Purton
    • 1
  • Nick Cooling
    • 2
  • Frances Fan
    • 3
  • Keith Harris
    • 4
    • 5
  • Heather Bridgman
    • 1
  • Jennifer Presser
    • 2
  • Bryan Rodgers
    • 6
  1. 1.Centre for Rural Health, College of Health and MedicineUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  4. 4.School of PsychologyCharles Sturt UniversityPort MacquarieAustralia
  5. 5.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  6. 6.School of DemographyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  7. 7.School of MedicineWestern Sydney UniversityCampbelltownAustralia

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