Deep-diving into research: the impact of problem gambling on affected others

Tue, 06 Oct, 2020

At Kindred, we work closely with a broad range of stakeholders to investigate ways to expand the responsible gambling field. We know that collaboration between researchers and operators can significantly enhance research in Responsible Gambling and we are eager to support and promote research in this area. We recently launched an online research library with an aim to share and highlight relevant pieces of research. This time, we have spoken to PhD student Matthew Vassallo about his research project.

Can you tell us a bit about your background? What made you choose a PhD in the responsible gambling field?

I am a nurse by profession. After obtaining my nursing degree, I head for a Masters in Family Studies, which gave me a better insight into the contemporary issues that families are faced with today. I had been thinking about starting a PhD for a while but could never pinpoint an area of study. I decided to choose the field of responsible gambling, as my late grandfather was a problem gambler, so I experienced first-hand what the repercussions of this addiction can be.  

What is the focus on your PhD research project? What do you hope your outcome will be?

The focus of my PhD research revolves around online problem gambling and those who are affected. The outcome of the research is threefold: to attain a better understanding of the way affected others are impacted by the actions of problem gamblers, to develop an effective instrument to measure and qualify the harm of problem gambling on affected others and to create an intervention which will attempt to help affected others deal with the harm resulting from online problem gambling.

How do you work with Kindred on your research project?

Kindred has been very helpful in helping me understand how the world of online gambling works, particularly the area of harm minimisation and detection of potential problem gamblers. I had no previous knowledge about the topic and so far, it has been a very enriching experience. Kindred is always available to answer any questions I might have and support me with anything related to my research project.

How do you see research help minimise the harm that might come from gambling?

Research in this area is pivotal as it helps create a better understanding of the various aspects of harm that might come from problem gambling. Understanding people’s experiences through research helps policymakers and service providers offer evidence-based practice, which improves the quality of the services and policies developed.


Kindred hosts a Sustainable Gambling Conference every year, bringing together leading industry stakeholders and experts to drive change within the gambling industry. Sign up to this year's SGC 2020 Online and join the conversation.