Understanding the role of mental health in online gambling choices

Identifying targets for law reform to reduce harm from gambling through an economic experiment that explores how mental health relates to problem gambling

One in ten Victorian adults have or are at risk of having a problem with gambling. Problem gambling is correlated with higher rates of mental health problems and suicide.

The relationship is two-way: harm from gambling has an impact on mental health, and those with mental health problems are at a greater risk of gambling harm than other gamblers. However, the mechanisms by which mental health problems could increase susceptibility to gambling harm have received little attention.

This project brings together complementary expertise from economics and law, lived experience and community organisations to address the intersection of two important areas of disadvantage. Using a discrete choice experiment, the research team will seek to quantify responsiveness to features of online gambling, including the use of inducements or advertising, that could be particularly risky for people with mental health problems.

This project establishes a timely program of policy-relevant research that will provide empirical evidence to support targeted regulatory and law reform responses to online gambling and gambling harm.

University-based researchers

Dr Jemimah Ride, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Lachlan Cameron,  Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Paula O’Brien, Melbourne Law School

Professor Jeannie Paterson, Melbourne Law School

Associate Professor Jonathan Liberman Melbourne Law School and  Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

External collaborators

Kate Scalzo,  Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

Ingrid Ozols AM,  mentalhealth@work

Mark Zirnsak, Uniting Church Victoria and Tasmania Synod  and member of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council

Journal Articles

Lachlan Cameron and Jemimah Ride, 'The role of mental health in online gambling decisions: A discrete choice experiment', Social Science & Medicine, Volume 326, 2023, 115885, ISSN 0277-9536, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2023.115885.

For information about this project, please contact:

Dr Jemimah Ride
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Email: jemimah.ride@unimelb.edu.au