GambleAware Gives More in Research Funding

GambleAware Gives More in Research Funding

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Wolverhampton have been awarded £350,000 by GambleAware for research investigating gambling harms, stigma, and discrimination.

The study is one of few UK research projects examining the societal and political areas where stigmatisation occurs for persons experiencing gambling harm.

It will also identify who it affects and how stigma intersects with other issues of gambling harm. This will lead the study to suggest possible paths for challenging stigmatisation.

Why has GambleAware set its sights on stigma? Past research has shown it’s a barrier to seeking help and factors into the concealment of gambling addiction.

Moreover, gambling disorders are among the most stigmatised mental health disorders, but research into the effects this has on accessing treatment is few.

GambleAware Chief Commissioning Officer Anna Hargrave said,

“Currently, there is limited research into stigma and gambling in Great Britain. We know further research is needed to break down the substantive barrier of stigmatisation – and the discrimination it drives – faced by those experiencing gambling harms and their communities.

Stigmatisation causes significant harm in and of itself and can lead to people feeling shame, experiencing mental health challenges, and social exclusion. We also know that stigma can stop people from accessing essential support or treatment services such as the National Gambling Treatment Service.

This research with NatCen and the University of Wolverhampton will be an important step towards a programme of work that builds more knowledge in this area.”

The grant to NatCen and the University of Wolverhampton is the latest in a series of funding announcements that have already seen GambleAware award more than £2 million this month, with a further £1.24 million already assigned.

An additional area of focus has been organisations that support communities more affected by gambling harm (according to GambleAware research, people in more deprived areas were three times more likely to experience gambling harms), with ten organisations added to the grant books this month.

GambleAware is a UK charity funded by donations from the gambling industry. However, the upcoming UK White Paper is expected to introduce a mandatory levy of 1% of revenue on all UK licensed operators, meaning the charity’s access to funding will increase significantly from 2023.

Operators currently donate based on a voluntary model, which has only seen the UK’s five biggest operators contribute 1% in 2023, with many others lacking.

The White Paper is up for publication any day now and stands to end months of delay on the new regulations.

The White Paper will update the 2005 Gambling Act fit for the modern gambling industry and is predicted to include new rules for affordability checks, limits on maximum slot stakes, and changes to bonuses and sports sponsorship.

Many are concerned that more vigorous regulations will drive players offshore, meaning there’s never been a better time to introduce the mandatory levy.

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