New Study Highlights Increased Gambling Harm Risks Within LGBTQ+ Community

A groundbreaking scoping study released by GambleAware has unveiled concerning findings about the increased risk of gambling harm among the LGBTQ+ community in Great Britain. Conducted by the University of Brighton, this pioneering research seeks to fill a significant gap in the understanding of gambling harm’s impact on LGBTQ+ individuals, an area that has seen limited exploration until now.

The study’s revelations are compelling, indicating that certain segments of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically gay and bisexual men, as well as young lesbian and bisexual women, are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of gambling. According to the research, gay and bisexual men are 3.4 times more likely to suffer from gambling harms compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Similarly, gay/lesbian and bisexual women face a 2.5 times higher risk of experiencing these harms than heterosexual women. Transgender and non-binary youth, particularly transgender women, are also highlighted as groups facing a heightened risk.

The comprehensive review, spanning research from 2000 to 2023, delves into how gambling harms affect mental health, financial stability, relationships, and employment within the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, it sheds light on the challenges and barriers LGBTQ+ individuals encounter when seeking support services for gambling-related issues.

Stigma and Discrimination LGBTQ+ individuals may face stigma or discrimination within healthcare and support services, making them hesitant to seek help.
Lack of LGBTQ+ Specific Resources There is a scarcity of gambling support services specifically tailored to the unique experiences and needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Limited Awareness Both individuals and service providers may have limited awareness of the increased risk of gambling harm within the LGBTQ+ community and the availability of appropriate support services.
Privacy and Confidentiality Concerns Fears about privacy breaches or being outed may deter LGBTQ+ individuals from accessing support services.
Cultural and Social Isolation The fear of being isolated or not understood by peers or support groups that are not LGBTQ+ inclusive can be a significant barrier.
Intersectionality Individuals with intersecting identities (e.g., LGBTQ+ individuals who are also people of color, disabled, or from different socioeconomic backgrounds) may face compounded barriers to accessing support.
Service Accessibility Physical accessibility, location, and hours of operation of support services can be barriers, especially for those in rural or underserved areas.
Financial Barriers The cost of accessing treatment and support services can be prohibitive for some individuals.

In response to these findings, GambleAware is taking proactive steps to deepen the research on gambling harms within the LGBTQ+ community. The charity has announced a call for research proposals, offering a grant of nearly ยฃ300,000 over 18 months to encourage further investigation into this critical issue. Proposals are welcomed until the 12th of February, as part of GambleAware’s commitment to enhancing support and understanding for those at increased risk.

This study not only underscores the unique vulnerabilities faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the context of gambling but also marks a significant move towards addressing and mitigating these risks. Through increased research and targeted support, GambleAware aims to foster a more inclusive and understanding approach to gambling harm prevention and recovery, tailored to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.