University of Bristol launches £4m Gambling Harms Research Centre

The University of Bristol has launched Britain’s ‘first academic research centre’ dedicated to developing ‘multidisciplinary approaches’ examining gambling harm, addiction and social complexities.

Launched as The Gambling Harms Research Centre (GHRC), the unit aims to transform research of gambling harms by developing deeper academic resources and evidence-led insights to share learnings with domestic and international stakeholders.

The GHRC will operate as an independent hub, with its funding secured by a £4 million grant commissioned by GambleAware, to help operate the facility over a period of the next five years

GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond commented: 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.

“GHRC 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 of this work by driving new public health approaches to reduce gambling harms for a wide range of communities.

Expanding gambling harms the evidence-led research approach; the GHRC will be supported by leading academics in consumer studies, public health, personal finance, and public well-being.  

The GHRC will work closely with several other institutes at the cutting edge of research, including the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the Bristol Poverty Institute, and the Bristol Population Health Science Institute.

“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.said Co-Director Agnes Nairn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Global Engagement and Professor of Marketing. 

“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.”

Stakeholders underlined the importance of the GHRC’s launch, as current data showed gambling returning to pre-pandemic levels, with concerns intertwined with the UK’s cost of living crisis.  

The announcement comes ahead of what is expected to be the imminent publication of the Government’s review of gambling legislation introduced under the Gambling Act 2005.

DCMS Gambling Minister Chris Philp said: “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.”

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