- »NSW Commits to Gambling Study and Tech
NSW Commits to Gambling Study and Tech
New South Wales has wasted no time in implementing new programs and developing initiatives to do the work commissioned by the Responsible Gambling Fund. Just one month after distributing nearly $400K to five NSW universities, details are now starting to emerge about the work that is being done to reduce gambling related harm.
Initial Distribution of Responsible Gambling Fund
On May 22 the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling subsequently announced the five universities that would receive portions of the $400K in 2019 Responsible Gambling grants. The universities and departments, along with their project descriptions, are as follows:
University of Technology, Sydney, Design Innovation Research Centre
Project: Design an animation series educating young people on responsible gambling.
Australian National University, Canberra
Project: Addressing gambling harms experienced by female-concerned significant others.
Central Queensland University
Project: Loot boxes: Are they grooming youth for gambling?
Deakin University, Victoria
Project: Family member treatments: Systematic review and content analysis across addictions.
University of Sydney Business School
Project: Do “cash-out” products offered by bookmakers exploit behavioral biases?
Office of Responsible Gambling Director Natalie Wright said that the funds had been allocated to researching how to prevent and reduce gambling harms. Knowing the motivations behind betting and the impact of gambling technology and innovation on younger generations will therefore enable the creation of better programs to help the reduction of gambling harm.
Several weeks later, the Responsible Gambling Fund then commissioned a study to better understand the effectiveness of Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) training and practices that are currently used in New South Wales.
The training is required by gambling licensing agreements for anyone working with gaming machines, and the Office of Responsible Gambling subsequently wants to ensure that it is effective and can be improved in any ways deemed possible. Wright noted:
“We need to ensure we have a dynamic and robust standard of RCG training for all accredited staff to support them to prevent gambling harm in our communities.”
The Central Queensland University will undertake the study. Its original funding was to research loot boxes. However, the university will create and distribute an anonymous survey for RCG competency card holders.
Only 10 days after the last announcement, the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling made yet another one. It will create a new self-exclusion option and online courses to educate on the issue of problem gambling.
The University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic received $176,400 to create an innovative website. The site will allow gamblers to log on and self-exclude from gambling venues. This will thus enable more anonymity and remove the requirement that someone travel to a gambling establishment and do it in person.
However, there is already self-exclusion technology available in New South Wales. Therefore, this project will build on it to create the new website.
Deakin University also received another grant, this one totaling $250K. Its goal is to create two online courses that will educate and offer research on reducing or preventing gambling harm. This will extend the reach of such education to young people and those in lower socio-economic or indigenous groups. Groups that may otherwise not have access or the means to travel to other courses. Teachers, counsellors, and those working in support centres will also be able to use the courses.
Wright noted that these programs will lead to tangible benefits in NSW communities:
“Just as technology is changing the way people are gambling with the rise of online and app-based betting, it is also driving exciting new initiatives to support people to gamble responsibly.”
Only the Beginning for Responsible Gambling Fund
The steps taken by the Office of Responsible Gambling is part of its strategic plan through to 2021. There are five primary goals:
- Research to provide the evidence base for policies, interventions, and programs
- Education and awareness in all communities
- Support services to encourage early intervention and integrated care
- Technology and innovation
These goals will be then be made possible by initiating and funding research as mentioned above. This includes educating the community, funding support and treatment, and informing policymakers and regulators.