Research Projects

Invitatons to tender and open calls for research can be found immediately below. The research projects listed below are underway, with quarters indicating when they are due to be completed. Published research can be found on the Research publications page.

Invitation to tender: Innovative applied research

GambleAware has issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for its Innovative Applied Research Grants Scheme (IARGS). The deadline for tenders is 17 December 2018 and the ITT alongside a supporting document can be found here: ITT, supporting document.

Two engagement events were held in London and Sheffield in November 2018 to inform prospective bidders of the goals of this grants scheme, and to explore some of the key policy drivers related to our four themes.

Presentations can be found below.

Innovative applied research scheme

Applied research in the field of gambling studies

Gambling and gaming

Mental health, gambling-related harm and wellbeing

Rapid Invitation to tender: Gambling-related suicide – Data analysis and scoping study

The deadline for propoals was 1 October 2018.
Budget: £20,000

The National Responsible Gambling Strategy sets the objective of making progress towards a better understanding of gambling-related harms and their measurement. Measuring gambling-related harms: A framework for action has been published by the Gambling Commission, Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and GambleAware. This discussion paper by an expert group sets out a view on defining gambling-related harms. Gambling-related harms take many forms, with negative impacts possible on peoples’ resources, relationships and health. Suicide is one of the most serious of the possible harms associated with gambling and one of the priority themes identified in the framework.

Proposals are being sought for small scale, rapid research on gambling-related suicide. This research has two strands:

  1. To provide greater insights into the prevalence of suicidality where gambling difficulties or gambling-related harms are also present, focusing on analysis of existing data sets. This should include suicides, as well as suicide attempts, suicide ideation and self-harm and take into account other factors that need to be adjusted for. 
  2. This study will also identify the scope for a second phase of research, which may require new primary research and data collection, to understand in more depth the interrelationships between suicidality and gambling-related harm. We envisage that this scoping will be informed by discussion with people directly affected by suicides associated with gambling.

For information, more detail is available in the project brief produced by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. As this is a small scale project, we asked that proposals should not exceed 10 pages and should cover:

  • Approach and methods for both strands
  • Datasets, measures and analysis plan for understanding patterns of gambling difficulties and suicidality
  • Ethics and means of obtaining independent ethical approval
  • Outputs
  • Timelines (taking into account the requirement for rapid turnaround of approximately 3 months)
  • Costs (not to exceed £20,000). This will be provided as a grant so is not subject to VAT. 
  • Summary of expertise of the team.

Proposals will be independently reviewed.

Note: GambleAware procurement policy allows GambleAware to approach only one supplier for projects under £20,000. In this instance, a member of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board involved in the gambling-related harm research programme has indicated interest in undertaking this project. In order to manage the conflict of interest, other interested parties are invited to submit proposals.

Invitation to tender: Patterns of play and consumer vulnerability

The deadline for proposals was extended to 17:00 hrs GMT on Friday 7 September 2018. Please note that applicants were given an opportunity to ask questions until Friday 23 August. You will find a summary of questions and answers given here.

The Gambling Commission, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) and GambleAware have prioritised research to better understand gambling behaviour across different products and environments, and which characteristics are most strongly associated with harm.

We held a briefing event on 4 June 2018 in London which was attended by almost 60 interested individuals. Based on feedback from this event and beyond, the RGSB refined the research brief, which can be found here. This sets out the policy context, need for the research, how the research will be phased, how the outputs will be used and the research questions to be addressed.

The overall research programme of work, expected to span across 4 years will be broken into two phases as follows:

Phase 1: Exploring online patterns of play
Phase 1 will focus exclusively on online gambling. This is an area where we believe data should be most readily available. It is also an area where we have a number of evidence gaps in how people play. It is a large and growing market and therefore there is significant scope for players being harmed by their gambling in this environment.
 
Phase 2: Patterns of play in other sectors
Phase 2 will look at additional research lots exploring patterns of play in other sectors as follows:
Lot 1: Non-remote betting  Lot 2: Electronic bingo terminals
Lot 3: Gaming machines    Lot 4: Casino table games
Lot 5: Scratchcards             Lot 6: National Lottery draw based games

The core objectives of Phase 1 of this research are to understand:

  • What the basic patterns of play are within online gambling
  • How these patterns of play vary for different types of people
  • How patterns of play vary among different products and characteristics
  • What types of behaviours are associated with problem or at-risk gambling (for example use of credit cards, reverse withdrawals etc).

The research outcomes will be used to:

  • Inform policy discussions and development
  • Guide the design of harm reduction interventions
  • Inform further research as necessary
  • Contribute to a scoping of what data is most useful to collect and how frequently.

GambleAware is responsible for commissioning the research against this brief. Also based on feedback as above, GambleAware revised the invitation to tender (previously published 29 May 2018), found here for information which contains information that potential applicants need to produce a proposal for Phase 1 of the programme of work. The deadline for proposals was extended to 17:00 hrs GMT on Friday 7 September 2018.

Other relevant programme related documentation is as follows:

  1. The presentation slides from the briefing on 4 June (noting changes to project scope and focus as per the below referenced revised project brief).
  2. Summary of questions and answers from the briefing on 4 June.
  3. Online Sector Mapping.
  4. A summary of interested parties and contact details. This was last updated on 30 July 2018.
  5. A copy of the paper referred to in paragraph 14 of the research brief can be found here in full and here in summary.

If you would like to be included on the mailing list of interested parties, please contact polly@gambleaware.org. This is to ensure you are kept fully informed of progress and fully connected with all other interested parties.

Invitation to tender: Evaluation of the impact of Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes and awareness and barriers to self-exclusion

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for an evaluation of the impact of Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes and awareness and barriers to self-exclusion. The deadline for tenders was 12 noon on Friday 8 June and the ITT is available for information here. We have faced some challenges that have been beyond the control of the Gambling Commission and GambleAware but hope to make a decision on the shortlist by 5 October and who will conduct the evaluation by 19 October.

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board issued a research brief that sets out the policy context, need for the research, how the research will be used and the research questions to be addressed.

Invitation to tender: Treatment: delivery gap analysis (a needs assessment for treatment services)

GambleAware has issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for a treatment delivery gap analysis (a needs assessment for treatment services). The deadline for tenders was extended to Thursday 31 May 2018 and the ITT is available for information here.

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board issued a research brief that sets out the policy context, need for the research, how the research will be used and the research questions to be addressed.

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 4, 2018

Problem gambling and families: Impacts, coping strategies and treatment

Dr James Banks, Sheffield Hallam University.

Aim: To explore the relationship between problem gambling and families in the UK in order to enhance the quality of life of problem gamblers and family members.

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for innovative applied research, intended to support original and creative projects that help deliver or extend the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, within the bounds of GambleAware's charitable objectives.

Empowering responsible online gambling with predictive, real-time, persuasive and interactive intervention

Dr Raian Ali, Bournemouth University.

Aim: To provide novel techniques to augment online gambling sites and apps with a responsible gambling layer that uses persuasive, real-time and interactive behaviour change elements.

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender for innovative applied research, intended to support original and creative projects that help deliver or extend the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, within the bounds of GambleAware's charitable objectives.

Evaluation of three gambling-related harm-minimisation projects: EPIC (armed forces), EPIC (criminal justice) and Newport Citizens Advice Gambling Support Service

Chrysalis Research (UK) Ltd

GambleAware has commissioned Chrysalis to conduct evaluations of two recent projects: One project was implemented by EPIC to raise awareness of those in the criminal justice system and in the armed forces of gambling-related risks and where to go should they need support and a further project was implemented by Newport Citizens Advice Bureau that sought to build the capacity of their advisors to provide gambling-related support and advice. Further information on the projects is here.

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 2, 2019

Systematic review of effective treatment for gambling problems

University of Huddersfield.

GambleAware has commissioned a team of researchers at the University of Huddersfield and Flinders University, Australia, to undertake a systematic review of treatment and support on offer for those experiencing gambling problems. Led by Professor Barry Tolchard at the University of Huddersfield, the review will explore services on offer ranging from primary care to specialist services and brief to intensive interventions, to identify the efficacy of these interventions, cost-effectiveness or value for money. 

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for this project in March 2018. The ITT is available for information here. The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board issued a research brief that sets out the policy context, need for the research, how the research will be used and the research questions to be addressed.

A longitudinal study of problem gambling in late adolescence and early adulthood: follow-up assessment at 25 years

Professor Alan Emond & Kasia Kordas, University of Bristol; Professor Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University. Avon Longitudinal Survey of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

Aim: To evaluate gambling behaviour and problem gambling at 25 years of age, among participants in the ALSPAC, a population-based cohort study in the South West of England. Data from this new sweep will be combined with data on gambling of cohort participants which have previously been collected at 17 and 21 years of age.

The effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and other vulnerable people

GambleAware has commissioned a research project that examines the effects of marketing and advertising on children, young people and other vulnerable people.

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, together with the Gambling Commission, issued a research brief that sets out the policy context, need for the research, how the research will be used and the research questions to be addressed. From that brief, GambleAware developed the invitation to tender, which can be accessed here.

Objectives of project

  1. To explore whether and how gambling marketing and advertising influences children and young people’s attitudes towards gambling
  2. To examine the tone and content of gambling marketing and advertising across all media, including social media affiliates and explore the potential impact of this on children, young people and vulnerable people
  3. To identify specific themes and features of gambling advertising that children, young people and vulnerable people are particularly susceptible to.

Vulnerable people

In addition to children and young people, this project focuses on the following vulnerable groups:

  • Group 1 “people living in constrained economic circumstances” - This group includes people who have cyclical money problems / short term; and who are on a low income / long term
  • Group 2 “people with limited capacity to understand information” - This group includes people whose first language is English and have difficulties with comprehension; and those whose first language is not English
  • Group 3 “people already experiencing gambling problems” - This group includes medium risk gamblers.

Desired outcomes

It is hoped that the project will give us key insights into:

  1. Where and how often gambling advertising and marketing occurs and the extent to which children, young people and other potentially vulnerable groups are exposed
  2. The extent to which children, young people and other potentially vulnerable groups are targeted online and whether seeing an advert makes them click through to sites that will allow them to spend money
  3. The themes and features used to advertise and market gambling related products and which of these themes and features children, young people and other potentially vulnerable groups absorb or are most susceptible to
  4. How this exposure can impact on attitudes, knowledge and possibly gambling behaviour
  5. How the influence of advertising might compare with other possible influences such as parental influences.

The extent to which the project will be able to make direct links between advertising and children, young people and other potentially vulnerable groups’ actual gambling behaviour will, however, be limited. Firstly, this is NOT a longitudinal study and secondly, there are so many factors that can drive gambling behaviours.

What will the findings be used for?

The findings of this research will be used to:

  • Inform policy discussions
  • Inform the design of interventions to reduce gambling-related harms.

GambleAware’s role is to ensure that- with the help of collaborative partners- the findings of this research reach the relevant stakeholders to inform these discussions.

Project Implementation

GambleAware, together with the Gambling Commission oversees the project that is being implemented in collaboration with a consortium of partners as follows:

  • Institute for Social Marketing; University of Stirling; ScotCen Social Research; and the University of Glasgow
  • Ipsos Mori; Demos; Ebiquity

All partners have distinct roles and responsibilities to work towards the desired outcomes.

Methodology

The project uses a range of different research methods. These include:

  • A literature review
  • An in-depth analysis of advertising content across traditional and social media platforms
  • An analysis of sports sponsorship
  • Face to face and online surveys
  • In-depth one to one interviews
  • Focus group discussions
  • Online avatars to identify targeted marketing

Contact

For more information on the project, please contact Polly Newall polly@gambleaware.org who will be able to identify the appropriate person to answer your query.

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 3, 2019

Applying behavioural insights to reduce problem gambling - remote gambling research phase 3

Dr Michael Hallsworth, Behavioural Insights Team.

Aim: To generate evidence which will be used to develop harm-minimisation best practice guidelines for the remote industry, including principles and tools and resources to support execution.

This project is the 3rd phase of GambleAware's remote gambling research workstream. The reports for phases 1 and 2 are available on the research publications page.

PhD theses at the University of East London and Swansea University

GambleAware is funding PhD students who commenced in Autumn 2016, in order to allow the in-depth exploration of research questions, and to develop the researcher’s abilities and knowledge, thus increasing research capacity in the field.

  • Elena Gomis; University of East London; The role of neuromodulation, cognitive processing and behavioural inhibition in problem gambling
  • Glen Dighton; Swansea University; Gambling on civvy street: Assessing the impact of gambling-related problems on UK armed forces veterans and their families.

All GambleAware-funded PhD theses are available to download on the GambleAware InfoHub.

Young people, gambling and gambling-related harm

Ipsos MORI; Professor David Forrest, University of Liverpool; Professor Ian McHale, University of Salford.

Aim: To investigate the influence of parents on young people's gambling and explore definitions of 'gambling-related harm'.

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for research into young people, gambling and gambling-related harm. Click here to download the ITT for information only. The bids were evaluated by GambleAware's Independent Research Oversight Panel and the decision was made to award the tender by the Research Committee. The aim of the research program is to develop our understanding of young people in relation to gambling and gambling-related harm.

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 2, 2020

PhD thesis at Sheffield Hallam University

GambleAware is funding Lucy Pointon at Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a PhD: Problem gambling and family violence - A life course analysis

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 1, 2021

PhD thesis at Northumbria University

GambleAware is funding Scott Houghton at Northumbria University to undertake a PhD: Assessing the impact of social media upon gambling behaviour and the potential for social media to be used to promote positive gambling behavioural changes.

Projects due to be completed in Quarter 4, 2021

PhD thesis at the University of South Wales

GambleAware is funding Jamie Torrance at the University of South Wales to undertake a PhD: Development of harm reduction interventions for bespoke risk environments in the changing landscape of gambling and gaming.

For information, the PhD application process for the 2018 call can be found here.