A £4m Gambling Harms Research Centre launched at the University of Bristol is aiming to transform research into the field by welcoming fresh disciplines and building research capacity in Britain and internationally.
The academic centre is to address issues through what it dubbed as “cutting-edge research” that will look to deepen understanding, raise awareness, and strengthen consumer protection in physical and online environments, as well as improve support and treatment.
Moreover, questions that will look to be addressed by the hub, which will be spearheaded by “renowned multidisciplinary research expert,” include how is gambling practised, what initiates harmful gambling, and the role social inequalities play in exacerbating harms.
Co-Director Agnes Nairn, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Global Engagement and Professor of Marketing, explained: “We desperately need interdisciplinary research on a large scale to truly understand the complexities of gambling harm as a serious, current public health issue.
“The University of Bristol, home to world-leading research centres in health, innovation, poverty, co-production and digital futures, has already brought together researchers from every faculty to be part of the new Hub.
“Our aim is to attract the very best international researchers from computer scientists to anthropologists to work with us on tackling this very under-researched area.”
The GHRC is an independent research hub funded by a grant of £4m over five years from GambleAware.
“This investment, awarded following a rigorous selection process, underlines GambleAware’s commitment to independent, world-class research to build the evidence base on gambling harm,” stated Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware.
“The new Gambling Harms Research Centre is a major step forward, bringing together new and exciting methodologies with a clear focus on impact in one of the country’s top universities.
“We are incredibly excited by the long-term benefits that this work will bring by driving new public health approaches to reduce gambling harms for a wide range of communities.”
Furthermore, the hub will also work with several other institutes, including the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the Bristol Poverty Institute, and the Bristol Population Health Science Institute.
Gambling Minister Chris Philp noted: “I welcome this additional resource from GambleAware to help deepen our understanding and awareness of gambling-related harms.
“We are currently undertaking our own comprehensive review to ensure that the protections in place to prevent harm are right for the digital age, and we will be publishing a white paper shortly.”