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A safe bet that research on new gambling technologies is worthwhile

Published:22 November 2019

Dr Alex Russell has earned an Early Career Research Award, as part of the 2019 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Researchers.

Society is awash with new gambling technologies and products, so it's certainly worthwhile to find out if they increase the risk of gambling harm.

A strong focus on this theme has now earned a Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Research Award for Dr Alex Russell, a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow with CQUniversity's Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory (EGRL).

Through 92 peer-reviewed publications, supported by external grants worth $7.1 million, Dr Russell's findings, keynotes and presentations have helped inform many state, federal and international government bodies.

These direct impacts on public health stem from informing government bodies about how changes in gambling products can harm the community, and giving them the evidence they need to act.

Dr Russell is a member of the invitation-only International Think Tank of gambling researchers, and has taken a leading role in developing collaborations with researchers in other national and international universities.

The CQUni academic has also serviced the wider community through regular media and public engagement opportunities. In fact, he has been recognised as one of the ABC's 'Top 5 Emerging Scientists'.

"Most recently, I have been conducting research on the convergence of gambling and video games, and how this convergence is particularly problematic for young males, including adolescents," he says.

"I have also used novel methodologies, such as social network analysis, to discover new findings and challenges in gambling research."

Dr Russell completed his PhD as a sensory experimental psychologist and authority on wine perception (including taste and smell perception).

During his doctoral studies, he was recruited to help with statistical advice for a project examining online gambling, and his reputation began to be forged in this new field.