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Gambling-related harm among recent migrant communities in the UK: responses to a 21st century urban phenomenon

About this study

England has one of the most liberal gambling policy regimes in the world and there is concern that those migrating to the UK from jurisdictions with more restricted gambling cultures may be at heightened risk of harm. New migrants are one of a number of such groups who might be disproportionately affected by gambling and may be particularly at risk of harm if coming from countries with stricter gambling restrictions.  Problem gambling is linked to debt; relationship problems; mental health issues; health problems; poor performance at work/study; involvement in crime; domestic violence; housing instability and homelessness. We are interested in the type of support that could or may need to be made available to new migrants.  Gambling may appeal to migrants because it may be considered a relatively easy way to make money, helps to relieve stress, and may provide a temporary escape from the difficulties associated with relocation. To date there is no UK research examining this subject and little research internationally.

This project will investigate migrant gambling in the urban settings of Leeds and London - places where there are higher than average migrant communities, and it aims to:

  • Identify urban social processes which may influence gambling behaviours among new migrant communities and to better theorise about the potential impact of gambling for these communities;
  • Engage with community stakeholders to explore their awareness of gambling-related harm, the impact of gambling related harm on their community and explore potential solutions and risk reduction mechanisms.

Timescale

March 2018 – August 2018

Research team

Heather Wardle (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - LSHTM), Jill Manthorpe (SCWRU), Stephanie Bramley (SCWRU), Caroline Norrie (SCWRU)

Funding

The project is funded by the KCL/LSHTM Interdisciplinary Fund.

Methods

Our package of work includes:

  1. A scoping review of literature to identify common themes and theories around urban social processes in relation to gambling behaviour
  2. Secondary analysis of the Health Surveys for England 2012 and 2015 to explore gambling behaviours among those of non-British national identity
  3. Conducting two stakeholder workshops with representatives from migrant community groups to explore their understanding of gambling-related harm and its attractions (one in London; one in Leeds)
  4. Developing an online consultation tool to gain further insight from other interested stakeholder groups unable to attend the workshops
  5. Organising two public engagement seminars to disseminate the project’s findings

Progress

Ethical approval has been granted.  We have started to identify relevant literature for the scoping review and community organisations to invite to the workshops and public engagement events.

Output

Bramley, S. & Norrie, C. (2018) ‘Gambling-related harm among recent migrant communities in the UK: responses to a 21st century urban phenomenon’, Seminar at King’s College London, 27 November.

15 November 2018 Caroline Norrie took part in an interview on the Voice of Islam radio station breakfast show following the government's announcement that they would introduce the reduction of stakes on fixed odds betting machines (FOBTs) from £100 every 20 seconds, to £2 in April 2019, rather than delaying this for six months.

Impact

The project’s findings will advance the understanding of gambling participation among migrant communities in urban settings and the provision of support available to migrants experiencing gambling-related harm in these locations.   

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