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Dr Keis Ohtsuka

BA (Sophia), MA (Sophia), PhD (Illinois)

Senior Lecturer

Keis is a Senior Lecturer in psychology at Victoria University and a registered psychologist with expertise in gambling cognition. He is also a member of the Institute for Health and Sport, one of two flagship research institutes at Victoria University.

His research interests are in the area of gambling behaviour and cognition. He has a special interest in culture and gambling, the role of erroneous gambling-related beliefs and superstition in risk taking, as well as the understanding of luck, chance and winning probabilities. Keis is a registered psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society, Inc. and the Victorian State Representative member (2019-2020) of the National Association for Gambling Studies, Inc. where he had previously served at the National Association for Gambling Studies Inc. (Australia) as NAGS Secretary for two terms from 20098 to 2012.

Keis is the Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, the first peer-reviewed English language research journal with a focus on gambling in culturally-diverse communities. He was also an Honorary Research Fellow (honorary adjunct appointment) in the China Center for Lottery Studies at Peking University from 2011 to 2013.

Keis received his BA and MA (Psychology) from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan and received his PhD (Educational Psychology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States.  Before joining Victoria University, Keis worked as a post-graduate research fellow in the University of Western Australia.

Recent publications

Edited special issues of journal

Bellringer, M., & Ohtsuka, K. (2017). Gambling harms - Understanding and reducing disparities for certain populations
Special Issue of the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 7: Article No. 5, 7, 8, 10.  (Bellringer & Ohtsuka Special Issue Editors). 

Ohtsuka, K. (2013).  Gambling and Vulnerable Groups
Special Issue of the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 3(1), Article No. 1-9. (Ohtsuka Special Issue Editor).

Refereed journal articles

Mazbouh-Moussa, R., & Ohtsuka, K. (2017).  Cultural competence in working with the Arab Australian community: A conceptual review and the experience of the Arab Council Australia (ACA) gambling help counselling service
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 7, 1-17.

Nekich, M. A, & Ohtsuka, K. (2016).  Bread, milk and a Tattslotto ticket: The interpretive repertoires of young adult gambling in Australia - Winner of the 2015 AJGIPH Best Paper Award sponsored by SpringerOpen
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 6, 1-17.  

Stephens, A. N., Trawley, S. L., & Ohtsuka, K. (2016).  Venting anger in Cyberspace: Self-entitlement versus self preservation in #roadrage tweets
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 42, 400-410.

O’Mahony, B., & Ohtsuka, K. (2015). Responsible gambling: Sympathy, empathy or telepathy?  
Journal of Business Research, 68, 2132-2139.

R Ibrahim, R Z. A., Ohtsuka, K.,  Dagang, M. M., & Bakar, A. A. (2014). Job satisfaction among Malaysian employees: An application of  Spector’s (1985) job satisfaction survey in the South East Asian Context 
Jurnal Pengurusan, 41, 69-79.

Ohtsuka, K., & Chan, C. C. (2014). Senior gambling in Hong Kong: through the lenses of Chinese senior gamblers - an exploratory study 
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 4, 1-12

Stephens, A. N., & Ohtsuka, K. (2014).  Cognitive biases in aggressive drivers: does illusion of control drive us off the road?
Personality and Individual Differences, 68, 124-129. 

Ohtsuka, K. (2013). Views on luck and winning, self-control, and gaming service expectations of culturally and linguistically diverse Australian poker machine gamblers
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 3, 1-17.

Chan, C. C., & Ohtsuka, K. (2013). The clinical and social construction of the Paichais of Macau
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 3, 1-11.

Book chapters (refereed)

R. Ibrahim, R. Z. A., & Ohtsuka, K. (2013). Worker Wellbeing in Malaysia: Prediction of wellbeing from psychosocial work environment, organizational justice and work family conflict
In Y. Kashima, E. S. Kashima, & R. Beaston (Eds.), Steering cultural dynamics: Selected papers from the 2010 Congress of the International Association for cross-cultural psychology (pp. 182 - 189). Melbourne, Australia: International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. ISBN: 978-0-9845627-3-2.

Invited internet publication

Ohtsuka, K. (2016, 1 December). Why people love to delude themselves with sports rituals and superstitions
The Conversation.  ISSN: 2201-5639.

View a full list of Keis' publications.

Teaching responsibilities

Keis teaches Organisational Psychology, Fieldwork and Research Methods.

Unit convenor

Postgraduate research students and fellows


Four PhD (as Principal Supervisor), one DBA (as co-supervisor), two Master of Applied Psychology (Community Psychology) and 358 Honours students.

Current supervision

Keis is currently supervising one PhD by Research (Integrated) student and three Honours (Psychology) students will be able to supervise up to four honours students in 2019.

Research grants

Keis has received a total of $316,697 of research funds as a principal, co-principal or mentor investigator.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Psychological Society, Member, since 1995.
  • National Association for Gambling Studies (NAGS), Member, since 1994; Secretary, 2009-2012; Victorian State Representative (2019-2020).

Appearances and coverage in the media

Dr Keis Ohtsuka has appeared on the news media as a commentator on gambling, superstition and culture and wellbeing. Follow him on Twitter @KeisOhtsuka.

Recent media appearances include:

Hook, C. (2017, 27 May). State of Origin superstitions: How Blues fans psyche up for big event
The Daily Telegraph Australia, NSW, ACT edition. Cited to comment on sports superstitions.

Hook, C. (2017, 27 May). State of Origin superstitions: How Blues fans psyche up for big event.  
NT News.  Cited to comment on sports superstitions.

Hook, C. (2017, 27 May). Origin: Dig out the blue undies and get lucky. My express.

Pelini, J. (2017, March). Unsafe at any Speed: Case against human drivers.  
The Atlantic, March 2017.  Cited Stephens & Ohtsuka (2014) in the 10 references that the authors used.

McCarthy, E. (Producer) & Savage, S. (Presenter). (2016, 7 December). The Chicago Cubs, the Doggies, and sports superstitions.  
Parallel lines, 3RRR FM, Melbourne, Australia (1:30:50 - 1:49:23  approx. 19 min).

Smith, J. (Producer) & Chambers, R. (Presenter). (2016, 5 December). What's the whole point in sports superstitions?
The Daily.  2SER,  Sydney, Australia. (12:18)

McGrath, G. (Radio Presenter). (2016, 31 October).  Mornings. ABC Radio Ballarat 109.7 FM. Halloween, superstitions, and horse races.

Cole, N. (Producer) & Schiller, J. (Interviewer).  (2016, 30 September). Footy Superstitions
Channel 10 The Project (videotaped interview). (1:47)

Nash, J., & Happell, C. (2016, 11 August). AFL Front and Centre, Round 21: Akermanis calls for change.  ESPN Australia & NZ.

Gitlin, J. M. (2016, 5 May). Bad drivers don’t think they’re bad: What Twitter tells us about road rage. Ars Technica.  

Breakfast with Red Symons (2015, 3 November). 774 ABC Melbourne.  On luck and superstition.

Breakfast with Ross and John (2015, 3 November).  3AW 693 News Talk.  On luck and superstition.

Bartholomew, G. (2015,  3o October). ABC News Radio.  A brief recorded interview on luck and gambling beliefs.

Crosby, R. (2015, October 21). Cubs fans around the globe scramble to keep up with team's playoff run. The Chicago Tribune.

Hoekstra, A. (2014, 18 January). ‘Casino’s maken Cambodjanen kapot’  [“Casinos make Cambodians broken.”] Trouw.  Quoted on Asian gamblers’ beliefs.

Sheilds, J. (Producer) & Buck, R. (Presenter).  (2013, 5 July) Radio National Life Matters - Friday talkback: Luck, what is it and why do we believe in it?  Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).  

Areas of expertise

  • Gambling cognition
  • Cultural beliefs, superstition and gambling
  • Erroneous gambling-related beliefs
  • The provision of harm minimisation in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities
  • Cultural competence in working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients
  • Acculturation and resilience

Contact details

+61 3 9919 5098