A new gambling therapy could soon be launched in Australia to curb addiction to iGaming. The “graded exposure cue therapy”, developed by researchers in South Australia, works by minimizing sensitivity to signals and triggers that keep players hooked on betting. 

Therapy Helps Customers to “De-Condition” Themselves

The new gaming addiction therapy specifically targets the addiction risks posed by mobile phone betting. According to Flinders University behavioral therapist Ben Riley, who also serves as a clinician at the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service, the therapy will teach people to “de-condition themselves” to all gambling cues. 

Gambling operators make use of advertising and phone notifications to entice customers to gamble and keep them playing. The triggers make it difficult for players to resist temptation and make rational decisions, putting them at an increased risk of developing a gambling addiction. The cue-based therapy addresses that by educating consumers about the negative impact of being constantly exposed to such triggers.

The therapy will guide people on monitoring and controlling the amounts of stimulus they allow themselves to see and receive, thereby helping them to resist the urge to gamble. 

Trial Ongoing

The therapy’s first phase of trial involved six problem gamblers and it was successful. The trial has now been expanded to 40 participants. Riley said they plan to make the therapy initially available via online or telehealth before launching it nationally to reach as many people as possible.