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We work to reduce the impact of problem gambling in the community

We strive to better understand the psychology of gambling and minimise gambling-related harms in the community. We collaborate with consumers, industry partners, government and NGOs to apply our research in the real world.

Community engagement and impact

Our research is fully integrated with our Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic, where we provide real help to more than 550 people with gambling problems each year. This community cohort allows us to trial new, state-of-the-art treatments and prevention strategies to the people who need them most. We can test the efficacy of new treatments in a clinical setting in real time. This integration means we can roll out the best new strategies to the broader community as quickly as possible.  

Our intern program at the Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic provides unique opportunities for research students to gain real-world experience as they study. At the same time, our research and clinical insights are quickly transferred to graduates who can go on to practise in clinical settings outside the University of Sydney.

Not only has our research led to new, more effective treatment, but we have also had an impact on how governments think about and regulate gambling, how industry implements gambling practices and how a range of stakeholders measure and conceptualise gambling-related harm.

Current research projects

This project aims to shed light on how specific online environmental situations can impact risk-taking behaviours. This will improve our understanding of how websites can encourage risk taking, and what steps can be taken to reduce associated harms such as cybercrime, overspending and oversharing of personal information.

The chaplaincy study is a combined venture between ClubsNSW and the Salvation Army. It aims to identify, train and place chaplains in registered clubs to provide practical and emotional support to members, patrons and staff. We will assess the self-reported outcomes from this program to determine the short and long-term benefits for the community.

We have developed a unique scale that assesses the full depth and breadth of gambling-related harms and consequences. We will validate the measure in both clinical and community settings.

An empirical evaluation of a novel self-exclusion program that allows problem gamblers to ban themselves from multiple gambling venues simultaneously.

We recently completed a systematic review to identify the most commonly accepted metrics for treatment success and to recommend best-practice guidelines. The findings from this review will help develop a new multidimensional scale to measure recovery in problem gamblers.

Misconceptions about how gaming machines work are at the heart of many gambling disorders. This research aims to test the effectiveness of a brief animation that explains exactly how gaming machines work in an effort to prevent excessive gambling. We will be trialling it with adolescents and young poker-machine gamblers in NSW clubs.