After a broad university consultation in the preparation of the business model, a number of schools and Flinders researchers expressed interest in establishing a gambling research centre that went beyond research into treatment of addicted gamblers alone.
These researchers and key government and community stakeholders indicated that there is an urgent need for a broader based research approach that looks at prevention of gambling problems at a population and public health level, regulation, social and economic impact, gambling behaviours and their impact on specific groups within the community that are at risk, i.e. the homeless, youth, mature aged men and women, Indigenous people and those people living in small towns and remote areas of Australia.
The Centre brings together researchers from the Southgate Institute and the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit to focus on key elements of the phenomenon of gambling addiction; identification, prevention, treatment and relapse to addictive gambling.
The commitment to the establishment of a dedicated Centre for Gambling Research will enable Flinders University to align research efforts in this area with the key focus areas, objectives and strategies of the Gambling Research Australia research program (2009 - 2014) - a joint initiative of the Australian Government and States and Territory governments. These are:
- public awareness, education and training
- responsible gambling environments
- intervention, counselling and support services
- national research and data collection.
WHY IS THE CENTRE IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME?
- Problem gambling is an emerging public health issue in Australia and around the world
- Around 1.5% of the Australian population experience serious gambling problems that may require them to seek help for their problems
- Each person with gambling problems affects between 7 & 10 other people adversely as a result of their problem
- Research into the phenomenon of problematic gambling is essential to understanding why these problems occur and how we might best manage and remediate problems caused by gambling
- Impartial, independent and objective research into the causes, prevalence, treatment and long-term effects of problematic gambling is essential if these problems are to be tackled systematically
THE CENTRE IN THE FUTURE
- More independent gambling related research
- More post graduate research students will be working in the Centre
- Treatment programmes will be evaluated
- Population health strategies will be developed to help people avoid or overcome gambling problems
- Coordinate an international gambling research conference