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Dr. Sally Gainsbury | 2017 Speakers



Gambling Treatment Clinic and Research Unit School of Psychology, The University of Sydney | International Gambling Studies

Dr. Sally Gainsbury, PhD, Doctor. ClinPsych, BPsych(Hons), is a qualified Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years’ experience conducting gambling research. Her research has focused on understanding gambling to inform the development of responsible gambling strategies and harm minimization policies. Her research excellence and contribution to the wider community has been recognized with numerous awards including an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (DECRA, 2016), Southern Cross University (SCU) Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research for Early to Mid-Career Researchers (2015), and an Australian Psychological Society Early Career Researcher Award (2014).

Dr. Gainsbury has been invited to give over 80 keynote and conference presentations internationally and has provided expert input for policy makers and key stakeholders in Australia and internationally. She is the Editor of the academic journal International Gambling Studies. She has published over 70 peer-review journal articles, two books, and numerous book chapters and research reports. She has been featured in numerous international media stories, including CNN International.

Dr. Gainsbury has been awarded numerous research grants (totalling over $2.8 million) which include studies to investigate the impacts of marketing strategies for gambling, including digital marketing and social media, with consideration of vulnerable populations. 

Who ‘Likes’ Gambling? The Impact of Social Media Marketing

Gambling companies are increasingly using digital marketing strategies, including social media to advertise to consumers. Licensed gambling companies use social media platforms to communicate with consumers, including direct and indirect gambling promotions. Many advertising codes of conduct fail to include specific consideration of social media marketing, and it’s often possible for offshore gambling companies to work around restrictions and advertise directly to users. Furthermore, vulnerable gamblers may be influenced by social media promotions and experienced increased gambling and exacerbation of problems as a result. Age gates are generally ineffective meaning that adolescents may also be exposed to gambling marketing on social media.

This presentation will outline the results of an online survey completed by 850 Australian adults and 560 adolescents who use social media. Despite the increased investment of gambling operators in social media, most participants only engaged passively with companies through these platforms. Nonetheless, some participants, including adolescents, were motivated to engage with operators and a minority report their gambling has increased because of social media promotions. This presentation will include a discussion of what considerations are needed to reduce the potential harm related to social media marketing by gambling companies. 

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