Rutgers University will be at the forefront of studying the causes behind problem gambling and identifying virtual treatment options.

Playtech, a U.K.-based gaming technology company, and Kindbridge Research Institute are partnering with the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers to create a first-of-its-kind virtual mental health clinic for problem gamblers.

Studying problem gambling, virtual disorders

The team will study the efficiency of virtual treatment for compulsive gambling and video game playing. The goal is to create a teletherapy model for gambling and digital dependency disorders.

“The research partnership with Kindbridge and Rutgers University will play a critical role in helping the sector design and deliver high-quality digital well-being and mental health support for those at-risk and affected by gambling-related harm,” said Playtech CEO Mor Weizer in a statement.

All hands on deck

The study will be comprehensive. How so? It is expected to last 18 to 24 months, according to a news release.

Casino operators, non-profits, health agencies, insurance companies, and state regulators are encouraged to participate in the program.

“The centralized approach that we are taking to offering telehealth services to the gambling community is giving us an inside look at the demographic of individuals and family members that suffer from gambling problems on a scale that should allow data scientists, academics and researchers to gain more insight than ever before,” said Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge.

Rutgers, NJ have studied problem gambling before

Rutgers University and the Center for Gambling Studies have worked with NJ gambling regulators before.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement enlisted CGS for a three-year project. The goal was to examine the prevalence of online and land-based gambling in New Jersey.

Lia Nower is the director of CGS and the lead researcher on the study. Nower is excited about building a “standardized and effective treatment framework for problem gambling and video gaming.”

“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,” she said.

About

David Danzis is an award-winning journalist who has covered business, politics, government, education, and sports in New Jersey. Most recently, he wrote about Atlantic City casinos, online gaming, and sports betting for The Press of Atlantic City. David is a graduate of Rutgers University.