Gambling and the superstitious belief in “luck” is an ancient and cultural inheritance for so many of our Pan-Asian communities. Apparently mahjong means sparrow in Chinese and as the legend goes it was conceived by Confucius around 500 BC. This ancient game of strategy takes four players and 144 tiles decorated with Chinese symbols and characters. These days however, in spite of gambling being illegal in countries like China it persists underground. For some new migrants, overseas students or refugees, the lure of legalised casino gambling is huge. All fine if the stakes weren’t so high, particularly in light of Sky City Casino’s current expansion and the fact that nearly 25% of all problem gamblers in New Zealand are Asian.
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