The growth of online gambling and the proliferation of smart phones has enabled people to gamble in different ways, and outside of premises such as casinos where staff have the opportunity to monitor patrons and to intervene if necessary. Whilst the majority of people who gamble both offline and online do so in a responsible way there are a small minority for whom gambling can become an addiction that creates a range of negative consequences.
However, the digital technologies that can be used for online gambling also offer unique opportunities to engage with individuals who have developed a gambling problem. Gambling Therapy offers a free online service that provides support and advice to people affected by problem gambling. The organisation recently released a smartphone app that allows users to access a range of support services and tools to help them take greater control of their gambling activities.
The ESOTICS group at Bournemouth University, as part of the Digital Addiction and Digital Motivation research projects have entered into partnership with Gambling Therapy to explore how this app may be further developed to add extra functionality, as well investigating how information provided by users of the service may help inform our understanding of the issues faced by individuals with a gambling problem.