Convenient consumption: a critical qualitative inquiry into the gambling practices of younger women in Australia
Health promotion international
There are a range of stereotypes and assumptions associated with women's gambling behaviours. While researchers have demonstrated that the practices associated with women's gambling are changing and becoming increasingly normalized, there is a limited understanding of how younger women ascribe meanings to these practices. This study explored the gambling practices of younger women. Forty-one women (20-40 years) participated in qualitative telephone interviews. Participants were asked open-ended questions about personal engagement in gambling, including experiences of gambling, gambling engagement, and experiences with different gambling products and environments. Data interpretation was guided by reflexive thematic analysis. Three themes were constructed from the data: (i) gambling infrastructures, including both products and the embedding of gambling in community environments, contributed to the convenient and regular consumption of gambling, with gambling easy to access and engage with; (ii) social networks and intergenerational gambling practices impacted the perceived social value and competencies related to gambling; and (iii) technology facilitated new gambling practices, routinizing gambling behaviours through automation and building perceived competencies with a range of gambling products. Gambling regulation and public health responses to gambling often focus on either individual behaviours or product characteristics. This study suggests that this focus is too narrow and excludes important influences on younger women's gambling practices, which include the infrastructure that supports the provision and consumption of gambling products. Public health research, policy and practice must consider the full range of determinants that may contribute to the initiation and continuation of gambling in younger women.
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