GambleAware Commission’s research into gambling harm among women

The UK’s responsible gambling charity, GambleAware, has awarded a £250,000 grant for new research into women’s lived experiences of gambling harms to a team of experts who will investigate the issue.

This comes after the charity revealed that awareness of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) is continuing to grow.

GambleAware commissions research

Today the charity announced it has awarded a £250,000 grant for research into women’s lived experiences with gambling harms. The grant was awarded to a team of experts to investigate the issue.

The grant, which was awarded via a competitive process, was awarded to a team led by Kelsey Beninger, Director at IFF Social Research Agency. 

Beninger will work in collaboration with Maria Fannin, Professor of Human Geography, and Sharon Collard, Professor of Personal Finance at the University of Bristol, and Dominique Webb, Head of Programmes and Marina Smith Women’s Programme at GamCare.

The team is taking a gendered approach to understanding gambling and gambling harms in the lives of Women, placing a strong focus on engaging with women who have diverse lived experiences of gambling-related harms.

The team’s 18-month program is taking a “mixed-methods, multidisciplinary and multi-sector approach” and will include roundtables, depth interviews, and community committees with women with lived experience of gambling harms.

The program’s main objectives are:

  • Explore the reality and lived experiences of women and their engagement with and experience of gambling, gambling harms, and gambling treatment and support services.
  • Establish and explore the drivers of gambling harms amongst women in Great Britain.
  • Explore the services, interventions, and policies needed to reduce and prevent gambling harms for women.

The research has been commissioned as part of GambleAware’s wider five-year Organisational Strategy, guided by an overarching vision of a society free from gambling harms.

Alison Clare, Research Director at GambleAware, said: “Women’s experiences of gambling harms are under-researched, often presented as homogenous and in terms of how they differ to men’s experiences. We are pleased to have awarded this grant to this strong multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team which will be drilling down into the experiences and needs of different communities of women. This is an important step towards ensuring GambleAware and others are commissioning the range of treatment and support services women want and will use.”

“GambleAware is committed to delivering a whole-system public health approach to gambling harms and understanding the wider determinants that drive these – including gender, health, race, ethnicity, and inequalities – is fundamental to achieving this.”

NGTS awareness is growing

In spring last year, GambleAware launched the NGTS awareness campaign, with four bursts of media targeting men and one aimed at women. The project ran across newspapers, magazines, out-of-home advertising, online and radio, with the intention of reaching high-risk gamblers experiencing gambling harms.

Last month, the charity revealed that figures from the initiative included that by August 2021, 60% of high-risk gamblers reached through the campaign contacted the NGTS as a first step if they had concerns about their gambling.

The charity explained that high-risk gamblers were gambling more as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with this number rising from 24% in May 2020 to 38% in August 2021.