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Gambling Harms Research Centre launched with £4m GambleAware grant

| By Marese O'Hagan
The UK’s first specialist problem gambling research centre has launched at the University of Bristol, funded by a £4m grant from responsible gambling charity GambleAware.

The Gambling Harms Research Centre (GHRC) will be led by research experts from multiple disciplines, who will spearhead the Centre’s gambling harms prevention and awareness efforts.

The experts will apply a public health approach to research, with the aim of deepening understanding of gambling harms and increasing research capacity into the issue.

The GHRC will work with other institutes at the University of Bristol, including the Bristol Digital Features 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, said Agnes Nairn, pro vice-chancellor of global engagement and professor of marketing at the University of Bristol. “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.

“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.”

GambleAware’s grant was awarded over a five-year span.

“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,” said Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware. “The new Gambling Harms Research Centre 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 that this work will bring by driving new public health approaches to reduce gambling harms for a wide range of communities.”

Chris Philp, the UK’s Gambling Minister, praised GambleAware’s donation and added that the government’s own review into gambling regulation – the 2005 Gambling Act Review white paper – will have a focus on player protection.

“I welcome this additional resource from GambleAware to help deepen our understanding and awareness of gambling-related harms,” said Philp.

“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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