Research Projects

Calls for research proposals 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.

Open calls for proposals / expressions of interest

Including the voices of those with lived experience of gambling harms

Following feedback from a series of consultations including two briefing events and one-to-one discussions and to better ensure inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in this project, we have made a number of revisions to the brief. These include:

  • Reordering the “objectives”
  • Changing the name from “Call for Proposals” to “Call for Expressions of Interest” to better reflect what we are asking for at this stage
  • Simplifying the document, removing unnecessary sections at this stage and making it more relevant to more people
  • Including a section outlining “Options for involvement”
  • Clarifying skills and experience that are sought
  • Simplifying the requirements for responses
  • Simplifying criteria for evaluating submissions
  • Extending the due date for submissions to 7 June 2019 and questions to 31 May 2019
  • Amending “implementation arrangements” section to “Co-design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation arrangements” that includes governance arrangements and structures

We have also developed a set of principles of partnership that we ask all individuals participating in the project will need to sign up and adhere to.

We are also working on refining the process for the co-design (and subsequent implementation, monitoring and evaluation) of this project that we will share in due course, namely:

  1. Establishing workable governance arrangements including setting up a project management function; pulling together a programme board; and a group of advisors
  2. Establishing a clear process for selecting and establishing the core project team comprising researchers, people with lived experience, designers and other relevant stakeholders
  3. Mapping a process for the co-design of this project that will result in a comprehensive project plan, including developing an appropriate and equitable financial model

If you have any questions and/or require any support, please don't hesitate to contact Polly at polly@gambleaware.org.

Questions and answers- received so far

Why can’t we use data from operators or quantitative data instead of or alongside qualitative research?
We want qualitative research because this is a good way to understand people’s views and experiences. We want to start with people’s experiences and build an understanding of gambling harms and how to address these from their point of view.

Academics have been looking at these issues before and have their own ideas and approaches.  As providers and experts by experience, we have a lot of information based on experience. How do these two things come together and how will you make sure researchers value experience and different expertise?
This project will bring together people from many different areas, researchers, creative agencies, experts by experience, service providers and others. We expect those who take part to value lived experience, contributions from many backgrounds and perspectives, collaboration and listen and learn. We will require partners to sign up to a set of principles that will underpin the partnership and code of conduct.   

What opportunities are there for people with lived experiences to develop skills to complement their experience? How can we get skills for meaningful employment?
What we would like from proposals are ideas for systematic and sustainable ways to include people with lived experiences in research and action on gambling. Proposals should include support and training individuals need in order to do this and how people with lived experience can take leadership and other roles.  Proposals should show how people with lived experience can benefit. It is also a principle that experts by experience are paid for their expertise.  

How can people with lived experiences apply to be part of this project as individuals, rather than part of a team or group bid?
We want this project to be based on lived experiences. People with lived experience will contribute to all three objectives of this project and are critical in scoping out, planning and delivering the research.
Please note: We are in the process of setting up a set of governance arrangements where there will be various ways in which people with lived experience can contribute their expertise and experience; and financial arrangements.

Collaborative projects can be difficult to manage. How will the co-design process work?  
We will have an independent project manager with experience in co-design who will facilitate the process of bringing together different partners and ideas into a plan. This will mean everyone, including GambleAware, contributes on an equal footing and to keep everything on track. The intention is also to involve people from other sectors, like mental health, to learn from where similar things have been done before.

Who is the project trying to influence and provide resources for?
We want this project to engage, communicate with and influence a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, people experiencing gambling harms, government, industry, the regulator, educators, health and statutory services, treatment providers, charities and others.

Is the £600,000 funding for across the country?
At the moment we have allocated £600k, but this is an indicative cost. In addition, we aim to ensure there is funding or support to ensure infrastructure for involvement of people with lived experience continues beyond the two years of this project.

How much of the budget will be on scoping?
There is no money specifically allocated to scoping from the £600,000 but will ensure people are reimbursed for their time contributed during the co-design phase. This phase will also allocate budget for the whole project.

Does everything need to be produced in the two-year period?
Collaborative approaches can take up to 12 months and producing results in the next 12 months seems too short an amount of time. There is flexibility in timing and we will focus on taking the time necessary. We anticipate building in several outputs through the course of the project. This will be worked out in the co-design process.

Is there a maximum number of ideas you will take on board?
We want as many good ideas from our partners as possible, and a wide range of partners.  We want to bring the right people to do the right thing, based on their expertise. We are happy to have smaller organisations. If you access to only one particular community, your community’s insights will be relevant too.

Calls for proposals under review

Evaluation of GambleAware funded treatment system

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for the evaluation of GambleAware funded treatment and support services for those with gambling-related difficulties. The ITT is available here for information only - the deadline for tenders was 8 March 2019. The original budget for the development of the evaluation framework and methodology was £30,000. Following discussion, it was revised to £45,000.

The Gambling Commission, together with the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, issued a brief that sets out the policy context, the overall objectives of the evaluation, how the design and development of the evaluation framework and methodology must be done in full consultation with and participation from key stakeholders, and some of the research and evaluation questions that may be addressed.

GambleAware held a briefing event on 25 January 2019. The briefing event presentation is here. The purpose of the event was:

  • To introduce the evaluation of GambleAware-funded treatment services - how it interfaces with other related projects and rationale for the approach
  • To provide an opportunity to meet partners
  • To provide an additional opportunity to ask questions.

Questions and Answers:
Q: At the engagement day there was a query asked about the allocation of the budget between the development of the evaluation framework and methodology, and then conducting the evaluation. Has there been a decision made on this yet?
A: We have increased the budget to £45,000.

Q: Page 6 of the ITT mentions that the submission is 5 pages, is this to include all documentation- for example CV’s and project plans or can we use appendices for that purpose?
A: CVs and annexes do not need to be included in the 5 pages but project plan needs to be included.

Q: It would be helpful to understand at this stage the extent that you are looking for proposals to demonstrate the bidders ability to deliver against the framework they propose, in addition to demonstrating the ability to build the appropriate framework?
A: The team set up to design the framework is unlikely to be the full team that will be needed to implement the framework. However, we would like to understand your capacity to mobilise networks and these professionals etc at this stage. It would be most helpful/ideal if the same team (plus additional team members as necessary) that develop the framework implement it - as such, we are interested in understanding if there is the ability and capacity to do so. It would be helpful, therefore, to have concrete examples of previous work (point f) and to have a description of different networks and/or teams you could mobilise to deliver the evaluation (point g) at this stage.

Q: Page 6 of the ITT stipulates that you are looking for a description of how we see the ‘team working together.’ Can we please clarify if this for the development of the framework for the initial £30k piece of work? Or, how the successful team will engage with the stakeholders for the duration of the project more broadly?
A: It would be helpful if you could touch on both.

Q: Page 7 of the ITT makes reference ‘final decision on the awarding of funds being made by GA Research and Evaluation Committee’ Is this the same as the Evaluation and Treatment Committee that were presented as responsible for commissioning at the engagement day?
A: The GA Research and Evaluation Committee is made up of members of our Board of trustees as follows: Professor Anthony Kessel (Chair), Kate Lampard, Professor Marcantonio Spada, Professor Patrick Sturgis.
 
Q: Can we please clarify that although this is a 2 stage project, the successful bidder at this stage will then automatically go on to deliver the evaluation against the framework they have modelled?
A: In an ideal world, it would be the same group leading the implementation of the evaluation against the framework. The contract will be awarded for both development and implementation of the evaluation but for risk management purposes, progression to implementation will be subject to successful performance and as such, there will a break clause.

Innovative applied research

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for its Innovative Applied Research Grants Scheme (IARGS). The deadline for tenders was 17 December 2018 and, for information, 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

Questions regarding IARGS 2018

14 November 2018
Q. What if I have a conflict of interest?
A. Please include a conflict of interest statement at the beginning of your proposal stating the following:

  • Your conflict of interest(s);
  • How you intend you manage these conflicts to ensure that they do not affect the legitimacy of the research.

This will then be assessed at the review stage as to whether these can be appropriately managed.

19 November 2018
Q. At the event it was mentioned that researchers should only submit one bid. Can I confirm, is this just one bid where we are the lead author, or could we submit one bid where we are the lead and another where someone else is leading but we are a partner, say with an academic?
A. We would encourage applicants to submit one bid, however, people can partner with others and be included in more than one bid as long as they highlight this at the beginning of their proposal and state why they have submitted more than one bid.

Ongoing projects and programmes

Patterns of play programme of work

Background
The Gambling Commission, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) 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 ABSG refined the research brief, which can be found here. The call for proposals can be found here. The deadline for proposals was extended to 17:00 hrs GMT on Friday 7 September 2018. Applicants were given an opportunity to ask questions until Friday 23 August 2018. You will find a summary of questions and answers given here.

Overview of the Programme
GambleAware has appointed Coffey to manage the overall programme of work. Key roles and responsibilities of the programme management function include but are not be limited to:
  • Maintaining big picture and holistic overview of the programme of work
  • Ensuring coordination between different components of the programme
  • Ensuring the different components of the programme are kept on track; identifying challenges and proposing practical solutions to address these challenges
  • Managing complex stakeholder relationships including but not limited to industry partners, the Gambling Commission, GambleAware, academics and other research partners
  • Facilitating workshops and meetings as agreed
  • Facilitating a lessons-learned consultation exercise
  • Maintaining independence and objectivity
The overall research programme of work, expected to span across 4 years has been broken into distinct phases as follows:

Phase 1: Exploring online patterns of play
The specific objectives of this phase 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).
It has been further broken down:
1a: Initial data request; data collection; cleaning; consumer survey; and initial analysis (operator and consumer)
GambleAware has appointed NatCen to do this initial work, in consultation with key stakeholders
1b: Additional analyses
It is envisaged that there will be additional analyses conducted on the data set(s) that emerges in Phase 1a.

Phase 2: Patterns of play in other sectors
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

This phase needs to be scoped- drawing on lessons learned to date but is expected to follow a similar pattern: 
2a: Initial data request; data collection; cleaning; consumer survey; and initial analysis (operator and consumer)
2b: Additional analyses

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.
Additional components of the programme:
Analysis of bank transactional data
Using bank transactional data, we would like to understand the ways that different consumers gamble and interact with gambling products and gain some insights into the use of blocking facilities. GambleAware has appointed Behavioural Insights Team to scope possible partnerships and data that may be analysed.

Data repository
 
As part of the programme of work, there is a need to find a solution for a data repository to store the data that we will be gathering for this project as well as data gathered over time. As a first step, GambleAware has appointed the University of Leeds together with an independent consultant to conduct an initial scoping exercise on data repository solutions.

Lessons learned from Phase 1
In advance of the design of Phase 2, Coffey will be facilitating a multi-stakeholder consultation process to derive key learnings from the design and implementation to date of Phase 1.
Other components will be added to the programme as it develops
The following programme related documentation may be of interest to you:
  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 have any queries relating to the programme, please contact research@gambleaware.org.

Awareness and perceptions of GambleAware and BeGambleAware.org

GambleAware is conducting a research study to find out more about its key stakeholders’ understanding and perceptions of the organisation, help us to identify some of our strengths and key areas that could be improved and importantly how we may leverage these strengths and address weaknesses.

In addition, we have set out to ensure that BeGambleAware.org is identified as ‘A national brand for a national issue, raising public awareness about the nature of gambling, the risks associated and where to go for help and advice from a wide range of services’. It is the brand which the general public will see in the new ‘Safer Gambling’ campaign. We need to develop knowledge about the BeGambleAware.org brand, specifically awareness and perceptions, as well as creating a framework for monitoring it.

Why are we doing this study?
In order to deliver on our charitable purpose of reducing gambling-related harms, we need to ensure that:

  • The public and stakeholder awareness, perceptions and understanding are aligned with the strategic vision, mission and values of the charity, and the strategic vision, mission and values are informed by stakeholder and public needs
  • The charity is associated with positive and favourable results
  • The charity is responsive in a rapidly changing context.

We are in the process of conducting an initial assessment that is designed to:

  • Explore current levels of awareness of GambleAware and BeGambleAware.org, and the perceptions of and attitudes towards both brands; people’s understanding of what we do; what people expect of us; and whether people understand the relationship between GambleAware and its partners
  • Identify perceived strengths and weaknesses of GambleAware charity
  • Provide some key recommendations for enhancing strengths and addressing challenges and weaknesses of the charity.

How are we gathering input?
Two surveys were conducted by independent market research agency YouGov that are targeted at:

  1. General public - who may or may not know GambleAware
  2. Selected stakeholders - who have had varying amounts of contact with GambleAware.

We will also be conducting a series of one-to-one interviews with a subset of external stakeholders, GambleAware staff members on all levels and across functions; and members of the board of trustees to get further insights into strengths and areas that would benefit from improvement.
 
Will the report be made public?
The report will be an internal document that will be used by the charity to improve what we do. We do not see the value in sharing the entire report We will provide feedback to stakeholders, share some of the key findings that emerge, and articulate the charity’s response to the findings.
 
How can you get involved?
The survey was open between 18 March and 18 April 2019.

Evaluation of the impact of Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes

Ipsos MORI

Aim: To evaluate the impact of Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes and awareness and barriers to self-exclusion.

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender for an evaluation of the impact of Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes and awareness and barriers to self-exclusion, which is available for information here. The ABSG 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. An amended brief was subsequently provided.

The effects 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 Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, 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; the University of Glasgow; University of Warwick
  • Ipsos MORI; Demos; Ebiquity; University of Bristol; University of Edinburgh

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 research@gambleaware.org who will be able to identify the appropriate person to answer your query.

First report

The first report was published on 9 July 2019 and can be found here.

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 Advisory Board for Safer Gambling 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.

Delivery gap analysis: A needs assessment for treatment services

ACT Recovery & NatCen

Aim: This research is intended to describe the nature of unmet need in terms of geography, demographics and severity of harm. The findings will be used to inform policy and practice. 

GambleAware issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for this project and the deadline for tenders was 31 May 2018. The ITT is available for information here. The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.