University of Bristol opens gambling harm research centre

The new centre will combine input from six departments.
The new centre will combine input from six departments.

The Gambling Harms Research Centre (GHRC) received £4m in funding from industry-backed GambleAware.

UK.- The University of Bristol has launched a new Gambling Harms Research Centre (GHRC). The centre was made possible with a £4m grant from GambleAware.

The centre will lead research into the understanding and raising awareness of the dangers of gambling, integrating research from six departments including disciplines such as personal finance, psychology and economic and human geography.

The University of Bristol has prior experience in research into gambling issues. The GHRC will work closely with other establishments, such as the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the Bristol Poverty Institute and the Bristol Population Health Science Institute.

It aims to improve support and treatment for gambling issues through a public health approach. It will investigate how people gamble, the causes that lead to harmful gambling and the role of social inequalities, which GambleAware said could become a greater issue due to the current cost of living crisis.

GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said the centre was a “major step forward”.

She said: “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.”

GHRC co-director Agnes Nairn, who is also pro vice-chancellor of global engagement and professor of marketing at the University of Bristol, said: “I think the advent of social media had a big impact on the sheer volume of gambling that there is and the directed advertising that comes straight to someone.

“If you are someone who’s got issues with gambling you are more likely to see more adverts.”

GambleAware reports £34.7m in gambling industry donations

GambleAware has published details of the donations it received for the 12 months ending March 31. The total voluntary donations from the gambling industry was £34.7m.

The leading “Big Four” operators (Entain, Flutter, William Hill and Bet365) donated 89 per cent (£30.9 million) of the total amount for the year. This is reflective of their previous commitment to raise the percentage of GGY they donate in increments from 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent by 2023/2024.

GambleAware said that although the total figure donated across the industry equates to nearly £15m more than the donations received in 2020/21, it’s still calling for a mandatory levy to replace the voluntary system. It said this would generate more funding and provide for a more certain and consistent approach to the funding of treatment, prevention and research of gambling harms.

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