Innovative Treatment Approaches in Gambling Disorder

  • Leroy SnippeEmail author
  • Marilisa Boffo
  • Sherry H. Stewart
  • Geert Dom
  • Reinout W. Wiers


Excessive gambling behavior is a complex psychopathological phenomenon, characterized by the interaction of multiple etiological factors and by a very heterogeneous symptomatological expression. To date, there are no existing evidence-based “best practice” treatment standards for gambling disorder. Healthcare providers and clinicians are further challenged by the difficulty in reaching out to individuals suffering from gambling problems. Despite a surge of empirical studies on various therapeutic approaches addressing disordered gambling, there is an urgent need for the development of suitable and cost-effective helping tools. This chapter presents a narrative overview of recent advances in the development of and research on innovative treatment approaches and treatment modalities for gambling problems, ranging from training interventions based on addiction models, such as Cognitive Bias Modification and general cognitive training programs; neuromodulation techniques, and employment of modern digital technology to promote large-scale support services and overcome treatment barriers, to personalization of existing interventions to individual and culture-based characteristics and preferences, and integration of multiple methods. Each section of this chapter presents existing preliminary evidence for such novel treatment approaches in the domain of disordered gambling and, when not available, results in the broader field of addictive behaviors. Altogether, these novel venues of research on gambling interventions share the goal of enhancing therapeutic effects and overcoming barriers and limitations to existing treatment programs by meeting the heterogeneous needs and demands of this peculiar clinical population.


Gambling disorder Problem gambling Gambling treatment Digital interventions  Mindfulness-based interventions Personalized interventions Cognitive training Cognitive bias modification Neuromodulation 



Preparation of this chapter was partly supported by grants from the National Belgian Lottery (grant: A15/0726) and the US National Center for Responsible Gaming. Additional support has been provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (grant: PSO-SSG-2015-10,036). The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of any of the funding agencies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leroy Snippe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marilisa Boffo
    • 1
  • Sherry H. Stewart
    • 3
  • Geert Dom
    • 2
    • 4
  • Reinout W. Wiers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.University of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium
  3. 3.Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.Antwerp University HospitalEdegemBelgium

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