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Stoyan Todorov December 20, 2023 3 min read
University of Glasgow at Center of New Gambling Harms Research
The University of Glasgow will collaborate with a number of other institutions to spearhead research into gambling-related harms
The issue of Gambling Related Harms, coined as a term and known by its acronym, GRH, will be looked into in partnership with Darwen Council’s Public Health in Lancashire and the University of Sheffield, which already has expeirence in conducting similar work and contributing to the better understanding of the issue at hand.
Understanding the Drivers of Problem Gambling
The new research will take a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen residents, drawing on data and previous research from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities which suggests that there may be as many as 5,000 people in the area who would benefit from tiered interventions to help them overcome gambling addiction or gambling harms.
The UK Government detailed that more than a million people in the United Kingdom would benefit from treatment and intervention. The study undertaken by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with its partners is designed to guide further treatment efforts, but also to understand the root cause of why some areas experience a prevalence of gambling harms while others do not.
As previous studies have shown, certain groups are more at risk than others, and the new study will focus on taking a look into participants’ drug and alcohol habits, their sex, and socioeconomic background. The study will be carried out over 12 months and led by Dr Christopher Bunn from the University of Glasgow.
We are excited to support Blackburn with Darwen as they begin their journey of understanding and responding to the gambling harms present in their area.Dr Christopher Bunn
Dr Bunn also cited the latest data that indicates there is a significant number of people who could benefit from treatment, many of whom would only need one or two sessions to see a noticeable improvement in their risk level when it comes to gambling-related harms.
Dr Bunn’s remarks are echoed by his colleague Damian Talbot, who is an executive member of Public Health, Prevent and Well-being. The study will lead to a better understanding of the issue and enable health teams to intervene and nip the issue in the bud.
Helping Overcome Financial and Emotional Repercussions of GRH
“The harms around gambling, including the effect it has on the individual, the family, loved ones and friends, costs a great deal to our communities – both financially and in terms of emotion and physical stress and healthcare as well,” Talbot cautioned, hailing the significant efforts that have gone recently to ensure that there is real understanding in the issue.
A new mandatory levy designed to charge the gambling sector with mandatory contributions may further expand treatment options and the opportunity to conduct more impactful research.
Research has been lacking in most of the regulated gambling markets, but there seems to be a strong uptake in research practices and calls from within the industry to have a more evidence-based approach to introducing sweeping regulatory changes.