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 last of three posts from the conference. (306 words)
Day three of the International Gambling Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, began with an Asian welcome ahead of the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.
Today’s keynote address was given by Prof. Samson Tse (University of Hong Kong). Samson spoke about Chinese migrants’ gambling behaviour and suggested that loneliness (including feeling marginalised and restless) and the concept of ‘losing face’ (in relation to perceived status, privilege and pride) may be related to such behaviour. Samson thought that there is a need for ‘disruptive innovations’ in order to ‘flip the iceberg’ and called for strong programmes to reduce stigma; treating the whole person; supporting family and affected others; and peer support interventions. Samson encourage attendees to ‘act locally, think globally’ so as to address gambling-related harm.
Following this, the rest of the day once again focused on concurrent sessions of presentations. After presenting Unit research about ‘gambling and mental health from the perspective of social work’ to approximately 30 conference attendees (pictured left), I went to five presentations, which covered themes such as group therapy within gambling support; what gambling researchers can learn from other fields (e.g. tobacco control, alcohol, obesity and blood borne viruses); the potential role for advocacy in developing gambling-related harm minimisation and prevention strategies; the integration of gambling in the lives of young men and a novel initiative to nudge pokie machine players from the gaming lounge to the local library.
The conference closed as it had begun—with a prayer and blessing from Mana Whenua Matua Bob Hawke. All in all, the conference was enlightening, it has sparked new research ideas and provided a valuable opportunity to meet other esteemed gambling researchers and to discuss the future of gambling research. I hope to be presenting at the next International Gambling Conference in 2020.
Kia ora conference organisers, ka kite anō.
*Conference presentations will be uploaded to http://www.internationalgamblingconference.com