Get access

Gambling in Taiwan: problems, research and policy


  • Cheng-Fang Yen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Both authors contributed equally to this study.

  • Harry Yi-Jui Wu

    1. Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Both authors contributed equally to this study.

Cheng-Fang Yen, Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University, No. 100, Tzyou 1st Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. E-mail:


Aims  This study provides a systematic review of existing research that has evaluated unique gambling experiences in Taiwan.

Methods  A comprehensive review of electronic databases, including Scopus, PubMed, Chinese Electronic Periodical Services and the Index to Taiwan Periodical Literature System, was conducted to identify evaluations of gambling experiences in Taiwan. Studies that met inclusion criteria were synthesized and assessed.

Results  Various types of gambling are prevalent in Taiwan, even though the laws of Taiwan forbid illegal gambling. Both traditional and novel types of gambling have brought adverse impacts to Taiwanese people in multiple aspects of everyday life. The strategies and attitudes of the government towards gambling have been forced to change as gambling has flourished.

Conclusions  Various types of gambling have developed in Taiwan in response to social, economic and cultural changes over time. The psychological aspects of gambling, however, need further study to provide fundamental information for developing intervention models for pathological gambling.