Institution says companies won’t ‘constrain or edit’ research, but public health expert Sean Cowlishaw calls funding relationship ‘unprecedented’
Public health experts have criticised the University of Sydney for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from some of the world’s biggest gambling companies and casinos, which are bankrolling a new research centre that will examine their conduct.
We are not saying that corporately funded research centres are always compromised. Also, we are not saying the funding body being the source of the public harm and then funding research into the significance of harm is necessarily a problem but it definitely isn’t good optics.
The Centre of Excellence in Gambling Research was launched this week after a $600,000 funding commitment from the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG), which the university has described as “a global leader in research and education on gambling disorder and responsible gambling”.
The ICRG’s major funders include MGM Resorts International, Caesars Foundation, Bally’s Corporation, Sands Inc, Wynn Resorts, Boyd Gaming Corporation, DraftKings, FanDuel, poker machine company IGT and many other entities. Its board of directors includes executives from US-based casino resorts.