Our projects

The Gambling and Addictions Research Centre's current projects are described here. Our research findings are widely disseminated to inform policy development, health care providers, health professionals, students, policymakers and the wider community.

Life course and legacy gambling harms in New Zealand

Gambling problems have wide-ranging effects across the life course, and some harms continue to affect people’s lives even after gambling problems have been largely resolved, inclusive of when people cease gambling. Severe consequences from problematic gambling can disrupt the financial and relationship stability of families over the long-term, leading to intergenerational harm. This has the potential to contribute to economic and social disadvantage of more vulnerable social groups. This joint project between researchers at Central Queensland University (CQU) and AUT is investigating harms (eg financial, relationship, health, vocational and cultural wellbeing) that accrue to New Zealand gamblers and Concerned Significant Others (CSOs) across the life course, including the duration and severity of these harms.

Funded by: Ministry of Health
Principal CQU researchers: Matthew Rockloff, Alex Russell, Nerilee Hing, Matthew Browne, Nancy Greer
Principal AUT researchers: Maria Bellringer, Giulia Lowe

Enhancing support provided for family members and affected others (FAOs) in New Zealand gambling services: Review of evidence for effective service design and delivery

The research aims to understand how support provided for family members and affected others (FAOs) in New Zealand gambling services could be enhanced. It will include a critical review of national and international literature, in combination with a Delphi study of expert opinion, as well as a national and international review of services for FAOs.

Funded by: Ministry of Health
Principal researchers: Katie Palmer du Preez, Jason Landon, Nick Garrett

The impact of changes in gambling and gambling risk levels on health, quality of life, and health and social inequities

The research involves secondary analyses of National Gambling Study data to assess how changes in gambling risk levels are associated with changes over time in health, wellbeing, disability, deprivation and social connectedness. This will extend our understanding of gambling-related harm in New Zealand including its role in generating health and social disparities between major ethnic and other sociodemographic groups. This information will assist in developing social and health policy and the design of interventions to reduce gambling-related harm.

Funded by: Ministry of Health
Principal researchers: Maria Bellringer, Nick Garrett, Takayoshi Ikeda

Effectiveness of problem gambling interventions in a service setting: A pragmatic randomised clinical trial

The aim of this clinical trial is to examine how effective two forms of treatment are with or without added text message support, and which treatment approaches are best suited to particular client groups (based on age, gender, ethnicity and problem severity).  The two treatments being trialled are:

  • 1) Motivational Interviewing plus workbook plus follow-up motivational telephone support
  • 2) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy plus Exposure Therapy

The trial is being conducted in collaboration with The Salvation Army Addiction Services - Gambling (Oasis).

Funded by: Ministry of Health
Principal researchers: Maria Bellringer, Katie Palmer du Preez,  David Hodgins (University of Calgary, Canada), Malcolm Battersby (Flinders University, Australia), Alain Vandal, Jason Landon, Nick Garrett, Braden Te Ao, Janet Pearson.

Past projects

You can find more past projects, where a report is available to download, on our research reports page. The past projects shown below do not have reports available.

This research developed a set of major indicators that could be predictors of early potential problem gambling behaviour for casino gamblers.

Funded by: Ministry of Health
Principal researchers: Max Abbott, Maria Bellringer, Nick Garrett

This project was conducted by Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia in collaboration with the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, AUT.  It was funded by Gambling Research Australia and examined the temporal relationship between problem gambling and other co-occurring disorders and whether the presence of a particular morbid condition or series of comorbidities predicted the development or presence of problem gambling.

This project was conducted by Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia in collaboration with the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, AUT.  It was funded by Gambling Research Australia and examined, identified and analysed gambler formal and informal help-seeking behaviour in an Australian context.

The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand and MedTech collaborated with the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre on a project to provide training on problem gambling screening to General Practitioners who are part of the MedTech user group. The aim of the project was to identify problem gamblers within routine medical consultations so that a subsequent referral to a problem gambling treatment provider could be made during the consultation (if required). The Problem Gambling Foundation spearheaded the project which was commissioned by the Ministry of Health.

The National Research Bureau Ltd subcontracted the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre to assist in the development and implementation of a gaming and betting activities survey to benchmark knowledge, attitudes and behaviours at the start of a social marketing programme to prevent and minimise gambling harm. The Health Sponsorship Council developed and is delivering the social marketing programme as part of the work funded by the Ministry of Health.

This literature review aimed to inform the likely effectiveness of social marketing objectives and approaches and behaviour change indicators to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

A review of research on aspects of gambling with particular emphasis being given to problem gamblers. The three key elements of the review were:

  • The development of, and risk factors for, problem gambling
  • The intervention options for the treatment of problem gambling and the effectiveness of these options
  • The impact of alternative approaches to public education and awareness raising about the risks of gambling and assessment of these approaches

Other major past projects have included the New Zealand and Swedish National Gaming Surveys. The Department of Internal Affairs commissioned the New Zealand Gaming Survey. The intent of the research was to inform government policy on gaming and responses to problem gambling, contribute to local scientific knowledge in the field of gambling studies and provide information relevant to stakeholder and end-user organisations that have an interest in gaming and/or problem gambling. In total, seven reports on gaming were completed.

NZ National Gambling Study

This is the first New Zealand population representative longitudinal study into gambling, health, lifestyles.

Find out more

Our people

Get to know the researchers within the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre.

Meet the team