The Nordic research network Gambling in Context (GAMIC) held its first meeting in Stockholm on October 14, 2019. The theme of the workshop was State regulation and societal handling of problematic gambling. GAMIC is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The aim of the network is to integrate existing national research networks and eliciting a strong and interdisciplinary Nordic contribution to the gambling studies field.
About thirty researchers from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway participated. We found it very fruitful and thought-provoking to reflect on the similarities and differences in gambling and regulation in our countries. This workshop will be followed by two other in 2020-2021.
The next day, the Gambling Research Network (GARN) held its tenth meeting. As usual, Swedish researchers presented for discussion their ongoing or planned research. There are certainly many exciting studies going on or in the making! Several of them are about issues relating to the recent re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market. The presentations will soon be available at the GARN webpage.
I presented an ongoing study about crime caused by problem gambling. The study is based on about 350 verdicts delivered by Swedish criminal courts in the years 2014-2018. Typically, a problem gambler in desperate need of money commits fraud, larceny, embezzlement, theft or shoplifting. However, there are also cases of extortion and robbery, for the same reason. In a few cases, problem gambling has led to intimate partner or family violence, but probably only a small fraction of such crimes are reported to the police.
Both meetings were hosted by the Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University.