Bingo, gender and the moral order of the household: Everyday gambling in a migrant community

John Cox
Kathleen Maltzahn
Sarah Maclean
Helen Lee
Mary Whiteside

Feminist researchers have argued for a focus on ‘everyday gambling’ and domestic spaces as sites of women’s leisure. In this article, we analyse how culture, class and gender shape the consumer practices of migrant women from Pacific Islands countries (Cook Islands and Tonga) who play bingo in regional Australia. This intersectional approach examines the effects of bingo in the everyday lives of these women. We show how migrant women gamblers have a distinctive experience of ‘lifestyle’ that is located within a meaningful symbolic order that values both domestic responsibilities and community relations within extended families, even when distance from the homeland and economic precarity entail social and financial pressures. While much policy research focuses on gambling harms, including the impact of electronic gaming machines or online gambling, here we show how bingo is embedded in social relations that mitigate many of the ongoing financial problems and deeper existential anxieties for those in precarious economic circumstances.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Phoebe Nadenbousch
March 21, 2023
Published in
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