Online gambling is on the rise, particularly following changes in regulations in the UK. It is easy to access and empowered by creative technology that makes the medium more engaging and immersive for users. Gambling disorder is recognized by the American Pyschiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Online gambling is available 24/7, enables rapid continuous play without breaks and provides limited gatekeeping to protect the most vulnerable. This means can often lead to gamblers losing control and chasing losses, impacting on not only the gamblers but also their families. As an example, the estimated costs to the UK are up to £1.2 billion per year from problem gambling.
However, those very features that make online gambling more engaging, simultaneously, have the potential to combat problem gambling. That is, the accessibility and persuasive techniques used in online gambling could be used as positive behavioural change mechanisms to mitigate against problematic behaviours. The online medium provides a unique chance to empower classical behaviour change as it offers interactivity, real-time response, traceability of usage data, intelligence, personalization and the ability to be context-aware.
Our Engineering and Social Informatics Research Group (ESOTICS) has expertise in several informatics issues, including motivation requirements. These requirements are typically realised via different technologies under various guises, such as gamification, persuasive technology, entertainment computing and incentive-centred design.
A simplified version of our Projects architecture is displayed in the below figure, followed by details of our current and past research projects.
BU academics talk about how technology is being developed to engage with online gamblers behaviour in a bid to improve public health
An explanation of how the EROGamb app works
Online exhibition: Hidden stories of online gamblers
Explore our online exhibition in which we speak with online gambling industry employees, many of whom occasionally or often gamble, as well as online gamblers. You will hear their voices, as expressed in the form of art and images: interpretations of that data by a whole variety of young artists.
Follow our news on Twitter @bu_esotics
A simplified version of our Projects architecture is displayed in the below figure: