Researcher Stephanie Bramley from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at the Policy Institute at King’s College London attended the 2018 International Gambling Conference held from 12 February to 14 February. This is the second of three posts Stephanie is filing from the conference. (326 words)
Day two of the International Gambling Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, began with a Pacific welcome from the Dominion Road Tongan Methodist Church Youth Group. The group performed a song whose message was to ‘say no to gambling, yes to family’.
The day’s keynote address was given by Prof. Rebecca Cassidy (Goldsmiths, University of London). Rebecca shared research that she had conducted in London betting shops. She had trained as a cashier and worked in two betting shops for 6 months. During that time she heard about cases of violence, armed robbery and the potential dangers faced by betting shops staff who sometimes work alone. However, such incidents were rarely reported to police, and staff were often not offered any support or counselling.
Rebecca is passionate about anthropology and conducting research where researchers can become immersed in a situation. She also raised the question of why gambling research should be independent from industry and recalled an incident where she felt that the industry ‘owned her research’ and she ‘could not say anything without first checking with the funders’. Rebecca advocated that participants involved in gambling research should be consulted and involved in the design of research studies, saying ‘people are not sources of data to be mined’. She also called for the industry to be required by regulators and licensing authorities to give meaningful access to venues and data.
Following this, the rest of the day focused on concurrent sessions of presentations. I went to six presentations, which covered themes such as the welfare cost of gambling; understanding the migrant journey of Asian students; the impact of gambling for people accessing social and accommodation support; understanding women’s gambling behaviour; the impact of gambling for single mothers and homeless women and the impact of gambling for Pacific people in New Zealand. All presentations had valuable insights which I will consider when Jill Manthorpe, Heather Wardle (LSHTM), Caroline Norrie and I begin our project studying migrant gambling in London and Leeds.