Gambless, the app. Its name says it all. Mostly all. You can tell it’s meant to help people gamble less.
“Today, in the age of the internet, there’s like an app for everything,” said Jeff Ifrah, a D.C.-based attorney who specializes in sports betting.
Gambless, a finalist for the annual Ifrah Pitch Competition (named after Jeff) at last month’s EGR North America East Coast Briefing in New York City, offers an array of therapeutic tools for people who think they have a gambling problem, according to Sports Handle.
The app includes tests, diagnostic and risk-assessment, classes (free to those with serious issues) articles, coping exercises, an online diary, an AI-powered chatbot, and information about related conditions like depression and anxiety, all sourced from psychologists.
“Gambless is designed not only for individuals dealing with gambling addiction, but it’s also useful as a prevention tool—a proper mental health app that can help users with other struggles, which can in turn lead to the development of a gambling addiction,” said Gambless CEO Maurizio Savino, who’s based in Italy.
What the app isn’t set up to do, however, is find a live person to speak to in a crisis situation.
“There is currently no way to be connected to a live therapist via the app,” said Savino. “However, we have a contact module, and if users request this, we can signpost them to therapists in our network. The app is purely for self-help, and the chatbot serves a different purpose. It is built to guide users through some coping techniques in the event of strong anxiety or panic attacks.”
Click “emergency” on the Gambless app and you’ll be connected to Savino’s cartoon visage, which is the chatbot’s avatar. You’ll get a handful of multiple-choice questions to help identify the primary issue.
The chatbot is polite but leaves much to be desired.
“If someone’s really in crisis, it should be about getting someone help immediately,” said responsible gambling consultant Brianne Doura-Schawohl. “In my mind, apps are supposed to be conduits to important information and support, and I think this gets a little clunky. Why aren’t we connecting people to emergency help in a market? People in crisis aren’t really in a place to Google something.”
But as Savino said, Gambless is for self-help.”
About a quarter of Gambless users come from the U.S. but that number is growing.
“Online gambling in the U.S is still at its early stages,” said Savino, “but I hope it will not repeat the same mistakes done in Europe and in the U.K.”
RG focus of gaming firms questioned
Gambless is currently in the process of seeking additional funding from investors and grant-making institutions.