Publications > Articles

Gambling Careers

A landmark concept developed by two of our members, Reith and Dobbie, conceptualise ‘gambling careers’ as changeable and variable over time, moving away from the characterisation of problem gambling as stable and fixed in nature.

Reith, G & Dobbie, F (2013) Gambling careers: A longitudinal, qualitative study of gambling behaviour, Addiction Research & Theory, 21:5,376-390, DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2012.731116
Dobbie F, Reith G, McConville S. Utilising social network research in the qualitative exploration of gamblers’ social relationships. Qualitative Research. 2018;18(2):207-223. doi:10.1177/1468794117710323
May-Chahal, C., Humphreys, L., Clifton, A. Francis B. & Reith, G. Gambling Harm and Crime Careers. J Gambl Stud 33, 65–84 (2017).

Gambling During COVID-19

Our research team are collaborating on a major ESRC-funded study of gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic [link to project page]. Papers from this study have so far described the research and reported on the impact of COVID-19 on regular sports bettors.

Wardle, H., Critchlow, N., Brown, A., Donnachie, C., Kolesnikov, A., & Hunt, K. (2022) The association between gambling marketing and unplanned gambling spend: Synthesised findings from two online cross-sectional surveys. Addictive Behaviors, 135, 107440. (doi:
Heather Wardle, Alexey Kolesnikov, Ingo Fiedler, Nathan Critchlow & Kate Hunt (2022) Is the economic model of gambling dependent on problem gambling? Evidence from an online survey of regular sports bettors in Britain. International Gambling Studies. (doi: 10.1080/14459795.2022.2088823)
Wardle, H. et al. (2021) The impact of the initial Covid-19 lockdown upon regular sports bettors in Britain: findings from a cross-sectional online study.Addictive Behaviors, 118, 106876. (doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106876)(PMID:33647707)
Hunt, K. et al. (2020) Protocol for a mixed-method investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and gambling practices, experiences and marketing in the UK: the “Betting and Gaming COVID-19 Impact Study”.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(22), 8449. (doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228449) (PMID:33203076)

Gambling Harms and Regulation

Core to our work is the exploration of how gambling can lead to a range of harms for those that gamble, their friends and family, communities and societies.

Wardle H, Reith G, Dobbie F, Rintoul A, and Shiffman J. (2021) Regulatory Resistance? Narratives and Uses of Evidence around “Black Market” Provision of Gambling during the British Gambling Act Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21):11566. (doi:
Wardle, H. and McManus, S. (2021) Suicidality and gambling among young adults in Great Britain: results from a cross-sectional online survey. Lancet Public Health, 6(1), e39-e49. (doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30232-2)
Wardle, H. et al. (2020) Open letter from UK based academic scientists to the secretaries of state for digital, culture, media and sport and for health and social care regarding the need for independent funding for the prevention and treatment of gambling harms. British Medical Journal, 370, m2613. (doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2613) (PMID:32611591)
Reith, G. , Wardle, H. and Gilmore, I. (2019) Gambling harm: a global problem requiring global solutions. Lancet, 394(10205), pp. 1212-1214. (doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31991-9) (PMID:31443927)
Wardle, H. , Reith, G. , Langham, E. and Rogers, R. D. (2019) Gambling and public health: we need policy action to prevent harm. British Medical Journal, 365, l1807. (doi: 10.1136/bmj.l1807) (PMID:31068335) (PMCID:PMC6506754)
Wardle, H. , Bramley, S., Norrie, C. and Manthorpe, J. (2019) What do we know about gambling-related harm affecting migrants and migrant communities? A rapid review. Addictive Behaviors, 93, pp. 180 193. (doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.01.017) (PMID:30716593)
Wardle, H. (2018) Learning lessons: The need for effective evaluation of regulatory change. International Journal of Drug Policy, 53, pp. 123-124. (doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.01.006) (PMID:29358082)

Global Sports and Gambling

Commercialised sports and gambling are inextricably linked and woven into the fabric of globalisation. Our researchers explore these connections and how the corporate strategies of gambling sponsors unfold globally, making contributions to what is sometimes referred to as the ‘commercial determinants of health’.

Bunn C, Mtema O, Songo J, Udedi M. (2020) The growth of sports betting in Malawi: corporate strategies, public space and public health. Public Health, DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2020.03.022
Purves RI, Critchlow N, Morgan A, Stead M, Dobbie F (2020). Examining the frequency and nature of gambling marketing in televised broadcasts of professional sporting events in the United Kingdom. Public Health.
Ireland, R., Bunn, C. , Reith, G., Philpott, M., Capewell, S., Boyland, E. and Chambers, S. (2019) Game on: exploring the commercial determinants of NCDs in sport. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 97(4), pp. 290-295.(doi: 10.2471/BLT.18.220087) (PMID:30940986) (PMCID:PMC6438257)
Bunn C, Ireland R, Minton J, Holman D, Philpot M, and Chambers S. (2018) Shirt sponsorship by gambling companies in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues: global reach and public health concerns. Soccer and Society, (doi:10.1080/14660970.2018.1425682)

Technology and Intersection of Gaming and Gambling

The increasing sophistication and penetration of technology driven forms of gambling are of great interest to our researchers. One area of particular interest is how the boundaries between gambling and gambling have increasingly been blurred by new offerings from gambling firms (e.g. esports) and new in-game purchasing trends (e.g. loot boxes).

Jayemanne, D., Chillas, S., Moir, J., Rocha, A., Fraser, S. & Wardle, H. (2021) Loot Boxes and Digital Gaming: A Rapid Evidence Assessment. London, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Available at
Wardle, H. and Zendle, D. (2021) Loot boxes, gambling and problem gambling among young people: results from a cross-sectional online survey.Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(4), pp. 267-274. (doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0299) (PMID:33103911)
Wardle, H. , Petrovskaya, E. and Zendle, D. (2020) Defining the esports bettor: evidence from an online panel survey of Emerging Adults Gambling Survey.International Gambling Studies, 20(3), pp. 487-499. (doi: 10.1080/14459795.2020.1826559)
Wardle, H. (2019) The same or different? Convergence of skin gambling and other gambling among children. Journal of Gambling Studies, 35(4), pp. 1109-1125. (doi: 10.1007/s10899-019-09840-5) (PMID:30852730)(PMCID:PMC6828622)
Reith, G. (2013), Techno economic systems and excessive consumption. The British Journal of Sociology, 64: 717-738.