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NSW Gives University Grants for Gambling Research

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Five universities across Australia will benefit from a new grant that will support projects that focus on youth and families via the use of new technology. The 2019 Responsible Gambling grants will subsequently distribute nearly $400,000 to those five NSW universities.

The New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) regularly supports programs and initiatives that will prevent and minimise the harm of gambling on members of society. The latest move by the group is a unique way to do it.

From the Minds of Students

On May 22, an announcement was then made that a grant of almost $400,000 would be allocated to five universities from the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling for “research to help prevent and reduce gambling harms.”

According to the office’s director, innovative projects are the key to achieving its goals.

“Technology, and in particular online betting, have made it easier than ever before for people to gamble,” said Director Natalie Wright. “We need to better understand betting motivations and what approaches work best for people at risk of gambling harm. It’s also important our research looks into the impact of gambling technology and innovation on younger people as well as the effectiveness of support for families of problem gamblers.”

Responsible Gambling grants will go to affected young people for its most probable solutions. After all, they are the best equipped to deliver solutions. Continuing , Wright stated:

“By funding programs and research projects like these we will further develop and underpin the evidence base for responsible gambling policy and programs.”

Five Projects

The list of projects and their affiliated universities were provided 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 behavioural biases?

First 2019 Grant

The university Responsible Gambling grants are the second funding project of the year from the NSW government. The first was delivered in January in the form of $436,000.

Deakin University was also the recipient of that funding. Developed were Australia’s first gambling intervention apps aimed at supporting people who need help to reduce or stop gambling. Minister for Racing Paul Toole commented at the time:

“Many people have smartphones, which gives us an opportunity to provide round-the-clock support to those who want to take control of their gambling. Deakin University will develop cutting-edge interventions from the mental health and addiction fields to deliver support to people in their everyday environment.”

Deakin’s Associate Professor of Psychology, Nicki Dowling, subsequently stated that the apps will be built on research already underway at the university to determine what support is needed by problem gamblers. The technology enabled by the grant will then help deliver interactive strategies to address gambling urges. They will also link gamblers to support from the various treatment services provided by the NSW government.

More Responsible Gambling Grants to Come in 2019

Funding from the NSW government and ORG will come close to $1.4 million over 10 project grants.

Additional projects will also include a pilot gambling harm screening program, and talks by people who have overcome gambling addictions.

Moreover, Toole noted that Responsible Gambling grants will continue to be a part of the government’s commitment to responsible gambling. The funding will also support partnerships between local service providers and new treatment facilities.

The ORG funding will further enable trustees to provide guidance on beneficial initiatives. The program areas include a comprehensive research agenda to lead and inform policy, community education to support responsible gambling, intervention through support and counseling services, and supporting the Liquor, Gaming & Racing Division of the Department of industry to develop policies and enforce responsible gambling obligations.