SBC News GambleAware highlights ‘higher risk’ of gambling harm in LGBTQ+ community

GambleAware highlights ‘higher risk’ of gambling harm in LGBTQ+ community

GambleAware has revealed that some members of the LGBTQ+ community may be at a higher risk of gambling harm.

The newly published scoping study – ‘LGBTQ+ People and Gambling Harms: A Scoping Review’ – was commissioned to build an understanding of the lived experience of gambling harm amongst the LGBTQ+ community in Great Britain.

Researchers from the University of Brighton completed the study by analysing articles published between 2000 and 2023 on gambling harms in the LGBTQ+ community and its impact on people’s mental health, finances, relationships and employment. 

Evidence on experiences of LGBTQ+ people accessing support services for gambling harms was also examined, as well as any barriers faced in doing so.

The study noted that “gay and bisexual men and young lesbian and bisexual women may be at increased risk and may experience greater harms associated with gambling”. 

In addition, gay and bisexual men could be 3.4 times more likely than heterosexual men to suffer from gambling harms, while gay/lesbian and bisexual women could be 2.5 times more likely than heterosexual women to experience gambling harms. 

The study also discovered that transgender and non-binary youth were also more likely to experience gambling harms, with transgender women showing the highest risk.

A summary of the study noted: “Whilst research in this area is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that fears around disclosure of sexuality or transgender status, and anticipated stigma, may be a risk factor for gambling harm, where gambling offered a form of escapism.”

As a result of the findings being limited and mixed, GambleAware recently announced that it is looking to fund a research project to better understand gambling harms in the LGBTQ+ community.

The research will “explore the lived experience, drivers, and burden of gambling harms within the LGBTQ+ community”, with £297,900 being granted to the project over 18 months.

The charity is asking for research to provide new evidence on why the LGBTQ+ community is “disproportionately impacted by gambling harms, and what needs to be done to address their needs or prevent harm – including actionable and practical recommendations for policy, prevention programmes and treatment and support services”.

GambleAware has set a deadline for proposal submission of 5pm on 12 February.

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