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GambleAware awards £350,000 grant to fund research into gambling stigmatisation and discrimination


GambleAware has awarded a £350,000 grant to the University of Wolverhampton and the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to examine how people who experience gambling harms are affected by stigma and discrimination.

The research will look to identify how people who experience gambling harms are stigmatised and discriminated against by a range of groups and sectors across society, including:

  • service and healthcare providers
  • civil society, and third sector and charitable organisations
  • their communities and families
  • popular media, and in political and policy discourse
  • the gambling industry more generally

The University of Wolverhampton and NatCen will also establish which communities are disproportionately impacted by stigmatisation and why, particularly how stigma can intersect and affect people who struggle with gambling in addition to other challenges. This would include people who experience gambling harms as well as drug use, anxiety or depression, or have lived experiences of homelessness.

The research will identify the services, interventions, information campaigns, and policies needed to challenge stigmatisation, including widespread stigma in research and the media, and aim to reduce gambling harms for stigmatised communities.

Anna Hargrave, GambleAware Chief Commissioning Officer, said: “Currently there is limited research into stigma and gambling in Great Britain. We know further research is needed to break down the substantive barrier of stigmatisation – and the discrimination it drives – faced by those experiencing gambling harms and their communities. Stigmatisation causes significant harm in and of itself, and can lead to people feeling shame, experiencing mental health challenges and social exclusion. We also know that stigma can stop people from accessing essential support or treatment services such as the National Gambling Treatment Service.

“This research with NatCen and the University of Wolverhampton will be an important step towards a programme of work that builds more knowledge in this area.”

Joanne Lloyd, Reader in Cyberpsychology and co-lead of the Cyberpsychology Research Cluster, at the University of Wolverhampton said: “We are excited to be working with NatCen on this important research, funded by GambleAware.

“We know that stigmatisation of gambling harms is a major barrier to people seeking treatment, but we still have a lot to learn about who bears the heaviest burden of this stigmatisation, or how best to tackle it.

“We will be carrying out a series of studies over the next 18 months to help us find out more about this, and identify how we might use this knowledge to counteract the harmful stigmatisation and discrimination of gambling harms.”

The team at the University of Wolverhampton's School of Psychology, consists of Dr Joanne Lloyd (project lead), Dr Garrett Kennedy and Dr Jo Meredith and Dr Laura Nicklin at the School of Education, who are working with Dr Darren Chadwick at Liverpool John Moores University, and colleagues at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Findings from the research are expected to be made available in 2024.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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