The road to safer gambling

Published:09 August 2018

PhD candidate, Hannah Thorne, is working in the Experimental Gambling and Research Laboratory at CQUniversity

Originally from New Zealand and having recently relocated from Melbourne to Adelaide, Hannah Thorne is researching the links between gambling, sleep and alcohol and is using this knowledge to inform harm-minimisation policy and practice.

Working as a PhD candidate in the Experimental Gambling and Research Laboratory at CQUniversity, Ms Thorne said that she wants to question whether the current gambling environment promotes harm by providing gambling and drinking opportunities late into the night, thus potentially setting people up to fail.

According to Ms Thorne, gambling problems are more prevalent in Australia than major depressive, eating and bipolar disorders combined. She believes that preventing gambling problems by reducing the harm experienced by those who gamble should be a priority.

“My research examines how people gamble and whether alcohol consumption and a lack of sleep contribute to poor gambling decisions, or whether gambling itself contributes to sleep or drinking problems.

“Many Australians love gambling so I am hoping that my research will help Australians to gamble in a safer manner and prevent harm from occurring in our communities.”

Looking to the future, Ms Thorne hopes to continue to teach at university as she believes that regional universities play such an important role in providing opportunities for many people who may otherwise not have access to higher education.

“I also wish to stay in the field of harm-minimisation research as I love going home at the end of the day knowing that I am going to be making a difference to my community.”