Feasibility Study of Smartphone-based application for Problem Gambling

Research Organisation: University of Auckland
Primary contact: Prof Chris Bullen

Summary of project/aims

Background

Electronic gaming machines are one of the leading sources of gambling harm in New Zealand and are strongly associated with problem gambling. Smartphones are increasingly widely used and may have potential as a tool to support people with a gambling problem with electronic gaming machines (“pokies”).

Aims

The SPGETTI (Smartphone-based Problem Gambling Evaluation and Technology Testing Initiative) study, led by researchers at the University of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation and Centre for Addiction Research, developed and tested a novel smartphone application (“app”) to see if it was a feasible way to provide additional support to people with gambling problems associated with pokies.

Findings

This study found that the use of a smartphone-based app with location-tracking capability and harm minimisation messages is both technically feasible and broadly acceptable to a range of people with significant gambling problems, including those in priority population groups, and to counselling service providers.

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