University of Sydney Defends Source of Gambling Research Money

  • Australian MPs called for the University of Sydney to return research funding
  • The funding was given to the Centre of Excellence in Gambling Research
  • However, the donor organization is funded by the gambling industry
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney in Australia has had to defend its decision to accept cash from gaming companies for research. [Image:]

Australian MPs have criticized the University of Sydney’s recent decision to accept AU$600,000 (US$386,346) for its Centre of Excellence in Gambling Research.

The funds came from the International Centre for Responsible Gaming, which critics point out is funded by gambling companies like MGM Resorts International, Caesars Foundation, Bally’s Corporation, Sands Inc, Wynn Resorts, Boyd Gaming Corporation, DraftKings, FanDuel, and IGT.

MP Zoe Daniel described the decision to accept the funds as “tone deaf.”

As a result, ICRG is vulnerable to comparisons to organizations like the Council for Tobacco Research. MP Monique Ryan used this association, averring that “no one would be happy” if the university had taken funding from the tobacco industry, while MP Zoe Daniel described the decision to accept the funds as “tone deaf.”

The university has countered by describing the ICRG as “a global leader” when it comes to research into and education on “gambling disorders and responsible gambling.”

A spokesperson for the university has also explained that it was “acutely aware” of the need to avoid conflicts of interest and stressed that any research would be fully compliant with the rules of the Human Research Ethics Committee.

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