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Gambling Harms Research Centre opens at the University of Bristol

The Gambling Harms Research Centre (GHRC) has opened at the University of Bristol, as reported by BBC News.

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The £4m ($5m) centre aims to increase understanding and awareness of the dangers of gambling. It is funded by GambleAware, with the charity’s Chief Executive Zoë Osmond describing it as a “major step forward”.

Osmond added: “We are incredibly excited by the long-term benefits that this work will bring by driving new public health approaches to reduce gambling harms for a wide range of communities.”

The charity noted that the cost of living crisis, along with the increase in people gambling online, meant that more people could be at risk of experiencing the negative impacts of gambling.

The university has a record of researching gambling issues, and will integrate research from six facilities, across disciplines such as personal finance, psychology and economic and human geography.

The GHRC will work closely with many other establishments when conducting its research, such as the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the Bristol Poverty Institute, and the Bristol Population Health Science Institute.

The centre aims to improve support and treatment for gambling issues through a public health approach, addressing questions such as how gambling is practiced, what initiates harmful gambling, and the role social inequalities play in exacerbating gambling harms.

The centre's Co-Director Agnes Nairn, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Global Engagement and Professor of Marketing, commented: “I think the advent of social media had a big impact on the sheer volume of gambling that there is and the directed advertising that comes straight to someone.

“If you are someone who’s got issues with gambling you are more likely to see more adverts.”

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