Visit any casino in California, and you will find that Asians, particularly new immigrants from China and Southeast Asia, dominate the clientele.
This is not surprising. Gambling has deep roots in Asia. In many Asian cultures, gambling has no moral stigma as long as you don't lose more than you can afford.
So it also is not surprising that as gambling has proliferated in California, Asians have been particularly at risk to become problem gamblers.
What is surprising is that the state Office of Problem Gambling does not effectively target such communities. As The Bee's Stephen Magagnini reported recently, the agency's gambling hotline does not have interviewers who speak Hmong, Mien, Vietnamese or Tagalog. The only state-funded Chinese gambling hotline is in San Francisco (888-968-7888). The only Gamblers Anonymous for Vietnamese and Filipinos who don't speak English meets in San Jose.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.