The goal of this study was to consolidate information on genetic risk factors for gastric cancer. An additional aim was to investigate the influence of race on these genetic risk associations. Relevant studies were identified from PubMed and references of retrieved articles. Meta-analysis techniques were used to summarise associations between genetic polymorphisms and gastric cancer. A total of 203 relevant studies were identified, assessing 225 polymorphisms across 95 genes. Subgroup analysis indicated that Chinese, Japanese and Korean data were consistent and could be pooled. However, 6 of 13 polymorphisms (ACE I/D, CCND1 870G > A, CDH1 –160C > A, IL1B –511C > T, IL4 –590C > T, IL10 –592A > C) displayed conflicting effects between Asian and Caucasian populations, three of which (ACE I/D, CCND1 870G > A, IL1B –511C > T) had significantly different odds ratios between the two racial groups. In total, 37 polymorphisms across 27 genes were found to be significantly associated with gastric cancer in Asians, and 12 polymorphisms across 11 genes in Caucasians. Consolidated panels of polymorphisms associated with gastric cancer risk were identified in Asians and Caucasians. The results caution against the assumption that genetic risk factors are consistent between races.