RLC recently prepared a submission for the NSW Select Committee on the Impact of Gambling.
Research shows that a higher proportion of international students are problem or at-risk gamblers when compared with domestic students. Our experience demonstrates that international students are particularly vulnerable to the effects of problem gambling. International students are often young and living away from home for the first time when they come to Australia. They may be new to a society where gambling is legal and readily accessible. On arrival, they may bring with them large amounts of cash saved by their family so that they can quickly find a place to live and reduce the cost of overseas money transfers.
For the international students that do have a gambling problem, a lack of awareness about where to get help, cultural stigma around accessing help and a lack of culturally appropriate gambling support networks mean that these students may have difficulty locating the services they require. Other international students may be unfamiliar with the signs of problem gambling and may unwittingly lend significant amounts of money to problem gamblers. Those international students then face significant legal hurdles to recover their money.
For this reason, RLC recommends improving the adequacy and effectiveness of existing gambling support services to better target both international students who are problem gamblers and international students who may be lending money to someone who they do not realise is a problem gambler.