Centre for Gambling Research

Centre for Gambling Research


Our objectives

CGR strives for excellence in the production and dissemination of evidence-based, multi-disciplinary gambling research. CGR seeks to promote and engage in rigorous academic debate and to inform policy and public discourse around gambling, gambling harm and the broader community impacts. We are committed to building collaborative research partnerships between a range of stakeholders and with other research institutions.

Our research

CGR has a broad range of research expertise, including: 

  • Evaluation of gambling policy and programs
  • Social and economic impacts of gambling in Australian society
  • Survey design, data collection and analysis
  • Public health and health promotion 
  • Gambling and gambling impacts on diverse and vulnerable population groups
  • Qualitative, quantitative and experimental research methodologies

Our history

Founded in 2002, CGR is one of the longest standing gambling research centre’s in Australia. CGR was established as an innovative partnership between the Australian National University and the Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission. Since 2017, CGR sits within the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.

Our projects

New Research Releases

Media/Community engagement

Current projects


2019 ACT Gambling Survey

The ACT Gambling Prevalence Survey is a telephone survey run every 5 years to assist the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission’s monitoring of the social and economic impacts of gambling in the ACT. The purpose of gambling prevalence surveys in the ACT is: (1) to update information about gambling and problem gambling for comparison with previous surveys and other jurisdictions; (2) to assist the government’s monitoring of the social and economic impacts of gambling; and (3) to provide a valuable resource to tackle significant academic and social research questions.

For detailed project information see: https://srcentre.com.au/our-research/act-gambling-prevalence-survey-2019


Targeting interventions for problem gambling in the ACT

Most individuals with gambling problems do not get formal help. This research will develop a set of practical and acceptable strategies for approaching gamblers, so that people experiencing problems might best be directed to assistance.


The Client Longitudinal Study

A study looking at client pathways to, through and beyond gambling counselling services. The study will aim to recruit up to 800 gambler clients and 120 family member clients and interview them at different stages of counselling. This research will give us a better understanding of the experiences of people going through gambling services and provide practical and useful information for service providers and their clients.


Gambling in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT Gambling Project)

Gambling is an issue that is increasingly reported, both anecdotally and through research, as having significant negative impacts on Indigenous individuals, families and communities in the Northern Territory. Rates of gambling problems are much higher in the Indigenous population compared to the non-Indigenous population. Further information is available on the NT Gambling Project page.


Evaluation of the Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling

The Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling is a mandatory code designed to guide best practice in the provision of responsible gambling practices by gambling operators in the NT. The Code was mandated in 2006 and subjected to revision in 2015. Gambling providers in the NT are required to demonstrate implementation and compliance with the Code and keep appropriate records to achieve the stated outcomes.

Some examples of the Responsible Gambling harm-minimisation measures include the provision of information (e.g. signs and pamphlets detailing responsible gambling messages), on-going training for staff, self-exclusion programs, locations of ATMs and ensuring minors are prohibited from gambling. The Centre for Gambling Research is conducting a three stage evaluation of the Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling, with a particular focus on venue compliance and venue staff training.


Gambling and the Australian Defence Force: Understanding history, culture and gambling harm

Currently there is no research evidence of the level of gambling harm amongst Australian Defence Force personnel. There are two main parts to this project:

  1. to conduct an extensive literature review and Australian and International literature;
  2. to develop an animation based on the review to highlight evidence gaps.

This research is funded by the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.


Using technology to reduce gambling harm in NSW communities: An ICT health promotion randomized control trial 2019- 2021

This project is a partnership between the Australian National University, ThinkPlace, Menzies School of Health Research and the NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Service. The project is funded by the NSW DeNSW Aboriginal communities experience disproportionately high rates of gambling harm.

This project will test and evaluate evidence-based measures that address the negative impacts of gambling through the implementation of a health promotion framework to develop and trial an ICT (Internet and Communication Technology) App in NSW Aboriginal communities.partment of Industry, Office of Responsible Gambling.

The overarching aim of the research project is to demonstrate that community driven, well designed health promotion reduces the significant levels of harm caused by gambling in NSW Aboriginal communities. To demonstrate this, we propose to:

  • Work with NSW Aboriginal communities in a collaborative way to develop and build community capacity to address gambling harm;
  • Develop an App that applies health promotion principles through community led design and content creation to address gambling harm in NSW Aboriginal Communities;
  • Develop and implement a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) evaluative strategy to measure the impacts of using ICT health promotion to address gambling harms in the complex social and economic setting of NSW Aboriginal communities; and
  • Trial the use of technology and social media in community data collection as a component of the evaluation strategy.

Past projects


Gambling expenditure in the ACT

Two reports on gambling expenditure in the ACT (2009 and 2014) are available for download. In 2014, people with gambling problems accounted for nearly half of all ACT losses. Overall, the reports found that gambling revenue is not drawn equally from groups in the community.

Download the reports: 2014 Report (PDF 3.08 MB)     2009 Report (PDF 2.22 MB)


Trajectories of social and economic factors in relation to problem gambling risk in Australia: A longitudinal analysis

Studies of gambling and gambling related harm often rely on selected samples, also known as ‘samples of convenience’ in order to make conclusions and provide information relevant for policy makers. The limitation of samples of convenience is that conclusions drawn for an unrepresentative sample do not always hold for the general population. Large longitudinal cohort studies, which follow the life histories of participants over decades, are increasingly used to model social, economic, and health problems in detail.

This study of gambling risk in Australia makes use of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, the first nationally representative longitudinal study of households in Australia to track the lives of people and their experience with gambling and gambling related harm. We find that close to 8% of the adult population report at least one harmful consequence as a result of their gambling. We also find people who report risky gambling behaviour have social and economic trajectories that are worse than the rest of the population and outcomes for problem gamblers are worse still. Problem gamblers were much more likely to experience a number of significant negative life experience such as being a victim of crime or incarceration, while also experiencing far higher levels of financial stress, lower life satisfaction and high psychological distress.


2014 ACT Gambling Prevalence Study

The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission contracted The Australian National University’s Centre for Gambling Research to undertake a comprehensive study of gambling and problem gambling in the ACT. The 2014 Survey on Gambling, Health and Wellbeing in the ACT surveyed 7,068 ACT residents in late 2014 and early 2015 and reports in detail on the prevalence of gambling in the Territory.

The study found that participation in gambling activities has continued to fall over the last decade and total gambling expenditure fell by 19% from 2009 to 2014. However, the number of respondents reporting risky gambling behaviours did not decrease as much, as an estimated 0.4% of the population were problem gamblers (0.5% in 2009), 1.1% were moderate risk (1.5% in 2009), and 3.9% were low risk (up from 3.4% in 2009). Less than 10% of people ever having gambling problems had ever received professional help for issues related to their gambling with a further 5% trying unsuccessfully to get help and 5% wanting but not trying to access help.


Understanding the Self-Exclusion Process in the ACT

This study recruited people with varying degrees of experience with self-exclusion in the ACT, gambling counsellors and gambling venue staff, and involved interviews with participants and participatory research methods and was initiated immediately prior to the ACT Online Gambling Exclusion Scheme. The study provides a benchmark on which future evaluation of the new Online Exclusion Scheme can be a measured and provides a foundation of knowledge that will inform ongoing improvements to self-exclusion in the ACT.

The study finds that self-exclusion is an important and powerful way to help people regain control over problematic gambling habits. Study participants reported that gambling counselling services and support groups were of particular use to many participants with few supportive friends or family to rely on. However, the report also found that breach of self-exclusion was common and the rate of detection of self-excluded patrons inside venues was low. The report suggested that improved communication between stakeholders in the scheme would improve the durability of self-exclusion for patrons and venues alike.


Preventive Interventions for Problem Gambling: A Public Health Perspective

This study reviews the potential for prevention approaches to problem gambling taking inspiration from public health models of harm prevention. The study reviews three types of preventative intervention: universal prevention, which is targeted towards the whole population; selective prevention targeted towards those at increased risk of problems; and indicated prevention targeted at those already showing signs of problems. The report argues that, while the evidence base for a complete public health approach to problem gambling is not yet available, a public health framework is an appropriate and useful approach for problem gambling and provides a basis for a contemporary health promotion framework.


Informing Targeted Interventions for People with Gambling Problems in the ACT

The Australian National University (ANU) Centre for Gambling Research was commissioned by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Gambling and Racing Commission to conduct a detailed study titled ‘Informing Targeted Interventions for People with Gambling Problems in the ACT’. The overarching aim of the study was to develop an evidence base to inform targeted interventions for people experiencing problems with gambling. The underlying tenet of the research approach was that single interventions are unlikely to be successful. An effective public health approach requires a co-ordinated, collaborative and integrated approach covering universal, selective and indicated interventions for gambling problems.

The findings from this report provide significant insight into the ways preventative interventions for problem gambling can be targeted using a public health approach. The findings suggest that interventions can be targeted and responsive to the experiences and understandings of people who are at risk of or experiencing gambling problems. A central component of targeted approaches is appropriately supporting partners and family members in the community. This report suggests that close family play the most significant role in assisting people to seek support and are critical to the success of strategies designed to control problematic gambling behaviour.

Project outcomes


Email: gambling.research@anu.edu.au


Dr Marisa Paterson
Email: marisa.paterson@anu.edu.au
Phone: 0436 811 151

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Dr Marisa Paterson

Dr Marisa Paterson


Centre for Gambling Research

Centre for Social Research and Methods


+61 2 6125 1964


Ms Charlotte Boyer

Ms Charlotte Boyer

Senior Research Officer

Centre for Gambling Research

Centre for Social Research and Methods

Beryl Rawson Building (13)


Dr Patrick Leslie

Dr Patrick Leslie

Research Fellow

Centre for Gambling Research

Centre for Social Research and Methods



Dr Megan Whitty

Dr Megan Whitty

Research Fellow

Centre for Gambling Research

Centre for Social Research and Methods


Updated:  1 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications