Project title Organised Crime, Gambling, and Criminal Law

8 weeks commencing 25 November 2019 (with a break over new year)


This project focusses broadly on the nexus between gambling and crime.  Since both gambling and organised crime share the purpose of financial gain it is, perhaps, not surprising, that at least since the since the early 20th century, many reports, cases, myths, and movie representations illustrate how gambling can serve to make illicit gains, launder funds, or exploit people who are often in precarious financial situations.

This project, conducted jointly between UQ and the University of Vienna and the University of Zurich, seeks to explore and critically analyse gambling in all its facets and dimensions, with a main focus on the nexus between gambling, organised crime, and criminal law.  This includes illegal forms of gambling, the use of gambling establishments for the laundering of proceeds of crime and other synergies between gambling and organised crime.  New forms of gambling such and online and sports betting are also covered.

A further important facet of the criminology of gambling involves the psychology of gambling, i.e. the motivation of gamblers, problem gambling (and gambling addiction), personal, social, and financial consequences of gambling, and initiatives and practical measures adopted to prevent problem gambling and assist problem gamblers.

The project further looks at a range of regulatory regimes around the world to examine how policy and law makers seek to balance the profitability of gambling venues with the risks of infiltration and misuse by criminal elements and the prevention of problem.

Expected outcomes & deliverables

The student undertaking this research will gain in-depth experience in data collection, library and database research, design and organisation of online learning platforms and websites, academic writing and publishing.  In addition, there will be opportunities to cooperate with staff and student at UQ, the University of Vienna, and the University of Zurich.

At the end of the research period in late February all relevant material should be captured and systematically catalogued in an online depository.  Research outlines and initial research findings will be published on a designated website.

Student qualities

The project is suitable for students in year 3 or higher with a keen interest in criminal law, criminology, international law, international relations, and the illegal trade in wildlife, animal parts, and plants.  Students seeking a career path in the international, government or academic sector may be particularly interested in this project.

Students must have completed LAWS2700 or LAWS2113 with an overall grade of 6 or higher and should have advanced writing and research skills.

It is advantageous if students (1) have experience in another field such as international relations, political science, criminology, journalism, or history (i.e. dual degree or graduate students), (2) command a second language other than English, and (3) are enrolled in, have been enrolled in, or intend to enrol in LAWS5231.

Students need to be available to work 2.5 full days or 5 half days per week during the research period.

Primary supervisor

Andreas Schloenhardt

Further information

Interested students should email prior to submitting a full application.