LGBTQ+ gambling research examined at Bournemouth Pride

University representative says life stressors experienced by some members of the LGBTQ+ community could be triggering mechanisms for them to turn to gambling.

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At this years ‘Bourne Free’ pride festival that took place in Bournemouth, Dr Reece Bush-Evans, a psychology lecturer representing Bournemouth University, discussed his research into the impact of gambling on LGBTQ+ communities and why those in such communities may turn to gambling.

On the stand, Dr Bush-Evans was accompanied by partners from charities such as Ygam, which works to prevent gambling harms and the Gordon Moody Association. The association provides advice and support to those affected by gambling addiction.

Early findings from his research suggested that gambling can be used as a coping mechanism for some, and that others in the community may use gambling as a means to mask their sexuality.

The study also revealed that some LGBTQ+ people who gamble, do so online, because they feel that physical premises can be an intimidating environment for them.

Dr Bush-Evans said at the festival: “Gambling is enjoyed by many, very safely. However, there is a significant minority of individuals, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community, who might be exposed to gambling harms. 

“So we’re here to talk to the community themselves about their experiences with gambling and to see if there are any issues that we can help with.”

Some of the interviews, conducted as part of the research, explored reasons why some people in the LGBTQ+ community may gamble. Reasons considered were as stated by Dr Bush-Evans:

“For example, the life stressors experienced by some LGBTQ+ individuals - such as harassment, discrimination, social isolation might be triggering mechanisms for some individuals to turn to gambling.”

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