Research grant reports

The Office of Responsible Gambling has a number of research projects underway as part of our Research Program 2019-2020. Our research program aligns with and progresses the RGF Research Agenda 2018-2021 and includes grant-funded projects.

Grant funded research projects

Detailed below are completed research projects that have received Responsible Gambling Fund funding support.

Researcher:  Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF)

This report presents a Culturally Responsive Framework to address gambling related harm. The framework provides tools and resources and contributes to the evidence base underpinning culturally appropriate services.

The framework was developed through a mix of research and information collected from:

  • an implementation group with representatives from public and community agencies
  • a literature review
  • case studies of lived experience
  • focus groups with practitioners
  • existing services that deliver gambling harm minimisation services and programs
  • a pilot testing of the framework and resources.

The foundations of the framework are cultural knowledge, cultural practice, and cultural change. Within these fundamental frames are a series of harms, stressors, and prevention and treatment strategies.

A web-based platform was created to support the implementation of the framework by providing helpful resources for anyone working with CALD communities. These include:

  • an eLearning hub regarding culturally responsive practice
  • implementation tools such as self-assessments, case studies and a guide to culturally responsive language
  • a recording of the eSymposium held to launch the framework
  • a clearinghouse with research, links to additional resources and further reading.

Access the WSCF Report and Framework.

Researcher: CQUniversity

This report outlines research aimed at understanding the risks posed by loot boxes to adolescents (12-17) and young adults (18-24) in NSW. Loot boxes are a growing concern due to the risk and reward properties that closely align them with traditional gambling, the potential for encouraging greater gambling involvement, and the potential for associated gambling harm.

Broadly, this research revealed:

  • Loot boxes are common in the best-selling video games. CQUniversity's exploration included a selection of 82 best selling video games and revealed 62% (51) had loot boxes.
  • In the survey sample, almost all of the respondents played at least one video game with loot boxes within the last 12 months (93.2%).
  • About a third (32.9%) of the survey respondents who played games with loot boxes within the last 12 months had also purchased a loot box, and their median monthly expenditure was $50 for adolescents and $72 for young adults.
  • Compared to other purchasers, young adults who more recently first purchased loot boxes were more likely to have gambling problems. Conversely, there was no evidence that earlier experiences with loot boxes predict later gambling problems.
  • Both adolescents and young adults who had either opened, bought or sold loot boxes within the last 12 months were also more likely to have:
    1. gambled in the last 12 months (young adults),
    2. gambled more frequently (young adults),
    3. spent more money gambling (young adults),
    4. suffered more gambling problems (adolescents and young adults),
    5. suffered more gambling-related harm (young adults), and
    6. endorsed more positive attitudes towards gambling (adolescents and young adults)

Read the report Loot Boxes: Are they grooming youth for gambling? on the CQUniversity website here.

Researcher: CQUniversity

This report examines how gambling is changing in New South Wales, particularly amongst young adults, and the impact of newer forms of gambling and gambling-like products.

New gambling products include those that are regulated as gambling, including betting on esports and betting on fantasy sports. Gambling-like products include gambling-style games, such as social casino games, which are not regulated as gambling.

Additional new products including loot boxes and skin gambling meet definitions of gambling but are not regulated as such in New South Wales.

This research revealed:

  • Compared to 25-29 year old’s, 18-24 year old’s:
    • were more likely to have taken part in emerging forms of gambling and simulated gambling except when it required expenditure (paid social casino games, paid fantasy sports, betting on esports)
    • are less engaged with traditional gambling forms
    • were more likely to recall first taking part in traditional and emerging forms of gambling while under the age of 18
  • Compared to 18-24 year old’s, 25-29 years old’s:
    • were more likely to have taken part in traditional forms of gambling
    • were more likely to recall being exposed to gambling via adults in their household, including parents.

Read the report Exploring the changing landscape of gambling in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood on the CQUniversity website.

Researcher: Deakin University

Executive summary

Despite making up a considerable proportion of the population and experiencing a range of harms, there are limited treatment options for family members and friends affected by someone else’s problematic alcohol, illicit drug, gambling or internet gaming use (i.e., affected others). Available treatments for affected others typically include the addicted person (e.g., couples and family therapies and treatments directed to the addicted person that involve the affected other). Recently, however, there has been a rise in psychosocial treatments that are directed towards helping the affected other in their own right. To date, no systematic review or meta-analysis in the addiction field has focused on treatments directed towards affected others, with all available systematic reviews exploring a combination of affected other treatments, and treatments that are directed towards, or rely on the presence of, the addicted person (e.g., couples and family therapies).

This review will therefore be the first to focus solely on treatments that are directed towards the affected other, which can include affected other-focused treatments (i.e., help the affected other manage the impacts of addiction), as well as addicted person-focused treatments (i.e., equip the affected other to support the addicted person). By exploring affected other treatments across numerous addictions (alcohol use, substance use, gambling and internet gaming), this review will identify gaps in knowledge and provide the formative work necessary for the development of evidence-based treatments for individuals affected by gambling harm.

Read the report Affected other treatments: Systematic review and meta-analysis across addictions on the Deakin University website.