SBC News Demos & RGT launch study of gambling & social media

Demos & RGT launch study of gambling & social media

Marc Etches

The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) and think-tank Demos have signed an agreement to conduct a study of the link between online communities and gambling. The study will look at the scale and nature of conversations on social media regarding gambling and assess whether it is possible to identify the prevalence of conversations which reflect problematic gambling behaviour.

RGT has commissioned Demos’ Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) to analyse conversations collected from Twitter, Facebook and other user-generated online forums over a one month period which included the Rugby World Cup. It is hoped that the results will shed light on the way people talk about gambling on the internet and inform efforts by the gambling industry to minimise gambling-related harm being experienced by people online and elsewhere.

RGT invited proposals in March 2015 from organisations with relevant expertise and experience to participate in a programme of research into remote gambling behaviour. Demos submitted a proposal for research into gambling and social media as part of that open tender.

A final report is expected to be published in January 2016.

Marc Etches, Chief Executive of the Responsible Gambling Trust said:

The internet has created new opportunities for people to gamble and to talk about gambling. For those of us whose job it is to find ways to minimise gambling-related harm this has created a lot of new challenges. There are still many things we don’t know about what influences people’s gambling behaviour and I hope this study will help the industry to think about what it does to promote responsible behaviour among those that gamble online.”

Alex Krasodomski-Jones, Demos, said:

“Gambling, like so many other things, has gone online. New digital spaces have opened up in which a mix of promoters, tipsters and sports fans are brought together in ways we haven’t seen before. We’re really excited to team up with the Responsible Gambling Trust to research this new space, to understand the behaviours it encourages and what the impact might be on gambling behaviour, and especially how social media analysis can help to identify problematic and compulsive manifestations.”

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