Playtech and Kindbridge launch first of its kind US research partnership into problem gambling

Gambling technology company Playtech has joined forces with Kindbridge, the virtual mental health clinic for gamblers and gamers, in a first of its kind research partnership in the US which will result in the creation of an evidence-based model for gambling treatment.

The ground-breaking initiative will be conducted in a telehealth setting through the newly formed Kindbridge Research Institute.

The purpose of the partnership is to 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. 

Research will focus on the mental health of gamblers, gamers and those suffering from digital dependency and identify areas to help and support them.

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

Findings from the study will be used for peer-reviewed research and to provide data sets on a size and scale never achieved when analysing this population.

Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, said: “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. 

“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 US.”

Kindbridge is working with casino operators in the US, 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. 

With their support, the Kindbridge Research Institute will be able to analyze player data alongside the data it gathers 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 treatment designed to have the greatest impact for those seeking help. The timeframe for publishing this level of insight is expected to be 18 to 24 months.

Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge, added: “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 mean 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. 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.”

Lia Nower, JD, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University and lead researcher on this study, commented: “We are excited to partner with Kindbridge to build a standardized and effective treatment framework for problem gambling and video gaming. 

“Kindbridge is the first treatment agency in the US 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.”

Through the collaboration, Playtech is also providing Kindbridge with digital learning expertise and support from its Academy team to help build the Kindbridge Internal Learning Management System for therapists and internal staff. Kindbridge therapists undertake a thorough training schedule and Playtech is helping the team to digitize its content.