Partnership To Study, Treat Problem Gambling In New Jersey

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By Lou Monaco

A new research partnership is coming to New Jersey to deal with problem gambling and develop treatments for it.

London-based gambling technology company Playtech and Kindbridge, the world’s first virtual mental health clinic for gamblers and gamers, announced Wednesday a partnership in creating an evidence-based model for gambling treatment in a telehealth setting through the newly formed Kindbridge Research Institute.

There has been sports betting in New Jersey for the past three years. In May, the state again led the nation in total handle at $814 million.

How It Will Work

The Kindbridge Research Institute is commissioning the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University in Piscataway to set up an evidence-based telehealth model which will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of digital gambling-related harm support and treatments.

The research will allow the data to be used for peer-reviewed research and provide data sets on a size and scale never achieved in New Jersey.

“The research partnership with Kindbridge and Rutgers University will play a critical role in helping the sector design and deliver high-quality digital wellbeing and mental health support for those at-risk and affected by gambling-related harm,” Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, said in a news release. “We are delighted to partner with Kindbridge Research Institute and Kindbridge clinical network as they pioneer the next generation of gambling treatment, services and support in the U.S.”

Impact Of Partnership

The partnership will use advancements in technology to improve the understanding and treatment of gambling and digital dependency-related harms, with an aim to enhance treatment efficacy in a virtual setting. The research will focus on the mental health of gamblers, gamers and those suffering from digital dependency and identify areas to help and support them.

“We are excited to partner with Kindbridge to build a standardized and effective treatment framework for problem gambling and video gaming,” said Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. “Kindbridge is the first treatment agency in the U.S. that is exclusively focused in these areas, and delivering treatment we can test for effectiveness fills an unmet need in this time of rapid expansion.”

Kindbridge is also working with casino operators in the U.S., insurance companies, and social impact organizations to create access to care pathways through telehealth that will eliminate barriers for gamblers and gamers to specially trained resources that can help them actively manage their mental health.

The Kindbridge Research Institute will be able to analyze player data alongside the data they gather from its clinical network to give a better understanding of the origins of potential harmful gambling and gaming behavior.

This analysis will then be used to define personalized intelligent approaches to a treatment designed to have the greatest impact on those seeking help.

“Combining data from players and Kindbridge’s clinical network will result in meaningful insight that has never before been achieved. The scale of the data sets means we can gain in-depth understanding into those who are currently suffering from harmful gambling behaviors, as well as members of their support network who may also be affected,” said Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge. “This research will allow data scientists, academics and researchers to gain more insight on effective support and treatment in a digital environment than ever before.”

The timeframe for publishing this level of insight is expected to be 18 to 24 months.

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WRITTEN BY
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Lou Monaco
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
... Read More