PhD Study: Development of harm reduction interventions for bespoke risk environments in the changing landscape of gambling and gaming
The research aims to investigate the gambling-related harms associated with advertising and specific product features to inform the development of corresponding harm-reduction strategies.
As a result of the technological revolution in availability and access to online gambling, the environment in which individuals interact with gambling opportunities and gambling advertising is rapidly changing. Although gambling is increasingly recognised as a public health issue, the rate at which the online gambling market is evolving means that that the ‘risk environment’ of gambling is unlike any other.
Research in the field of alcohol related harms has shown that increased availability leads to increased engagement at a population level, resulting in shifts in the proportion of people displaying ‘normal’ levels of behaviour to increased ‘at-risk’ or harmful activity. Furthermore, there is evidence that new products, such as esports, are strongly associated with increased participation in gambling. These new forms of gambling have the potential to attract a wide demographic audience, including young people, who are particularly vulnerable to gambling harm.
This study will further explore how the gambling risk environment is changing, including the convergence of the digital cultures of gaming and gambling, to better understand the extent to which modern gambling sits within existing theories and models of behavioural addiction. Based on this knowledge, the research will then examine how the potential harm from this bespoke risk environment can be mitigated.
A mixed-methods approach will be used, including experimental investigations, surveys, interviews and focus groups.