Research Directions 2015-2018

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's research program direction aligns with the foundation's legislated objectives. These are to:

  • reduce the prevalence of problem gambling
  • reduce the severity of harm related to gambling 
  • foster responsible gambling.

The foundation's research program is comprised of an annual round of Grants for Gambling Research plus strategic commissioned research. The research topics for the Grants for Problem Gambling Research are decided annually and the research questions reflect and sit within the foundation's legislated objectives. Strategic research questions, commissioned via public tender, are in addition to the annual grants, and address contextual changes in the Victorian gambling environment.

The foundation's direction for the next three years will broadly fall within the themes listed below.

In the 2015/2016 year, the research topics of interest relate to the Issues Agenda (refer Strategic Plan 2015/16). These include:

  • the proliferation of gambling advertising
  • the normalisation of gambling and its impact on the Victorian community
  • the progression of gaming to gambling
  • new technology and increasing accessibility of gambling
  • take up of gambling services.

Changing gambling environment

New technologies, products and gambling opportunities change the way people gamble. Research is essential to understand how these changing environmental factors, including marketing, promotion, normalisation of gambling, and emerging new technologies transform gambling behaviours.

Research on this theme will explore how the gambling environment influences player behaviour and attitudes, with a view to developing foundation strategies and programs to minimise gambling related harm, foster responsible gambling, and reduce the problem gambling prevalence.

Preventing gambling-related harm

The foundation has embraced a public health approach to gambling. This approach views gambling as a continuum across the Victorian population. There is little gambling harm research to inform the foundation's programs and strategies. Evidence- informed public health practice in the prevention of gambling related harm is emerging but is scarce relative to other public health issues in Australia.

Practitioners charged with a prevention mandate must draw on lessons learned in other public health arenas in developing their prevention activities and programs.

Research on this theme is essential to address and inform the foundation's public health policy and practice.

Monitoring gambling in the Victorian community

Research under this theme will monitor gambling participation, gambling behaviour and gambling attitudes in Victoria. Research will determine how patterns of gambling behaviour and harm have changed over time and how this has affected individuals and communities.

Monitoring the gambling environment will provide evidence for evaluation of the foundation's objectives and marketing programs, as well as keeping a pulse on gambling in Victoria.

Treatment and recovery

The foundation provides gambling treatment services for gamblers, their families and the community. It is critical that the treatment provided is based on the best available evidence. Research on this theme will explore a range of clinical treatment options, emerging treatment approaches, such as peer to peer support, financial counselling and brief interventions. Most people recover from gambling problems without formal treatment, however the process of recovery is poorly understood and natural recovery is an important factor in the recovery process.

Download our research directions (PDF - 32.4 KB)

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