SPRinG: Supporting People Recovering from Gambling

Control your gambling and contribute to our community-based research on problem gambling patterns and recovery pathways.


Homelessness and Housing

Substance Use and Harm Reduction

SPRinG has now been archived

Thank you for your interest and participation in the SPRinG App study. Funding for the study has ended and as such the app will no longer be functional as of March 31st, 2024. We recognize the potential impact this will have on current users and apologize for any inconvenience.

Although the SPRinG app will be unavailable, the resources listed in the support section will continue to be accessible. Please find a list of resources here.

What is the SPRinG app?

SPRinG is a self-help tool that supports you to control your gambling and gain insight into why you gamble. It is also a research tool to explore how people use the app to manage their gambling.

Why should I use the SPRinG app?

The app was designed with best practices in gambling treatment in mind. It has the potential to help you understand why you gamble so you can control your gambling.

How will the SPRinG app help me?

We are using findings from research with people facing gambling problems and with service providers who work with people who gamble to understand best practices in gambling recovery. The app supports recovery in the following ways:

• Gambling problem self-assessment tools to track progress.
• Urge and gambling journals to identify triggers and high-risk situations.
• Weekly insights into urge and gambling patterns to increase awareness and inform decision-making
• Tailored self-management tips to gain greater control and maintain your progress
• Urge distraction resources to help deal with challenging situations
• 24/7 connections to crisis lines

The aim of the SPRinG app is to provide evidence-based, low-barrier, harm-reduction supports to people experiencing problem gambling.

The prevalence of problem gambling among people experiencing homelessness is up to 46%, nine times higher than the general population. In Ontario two studies reported a combined prevalence of problem and pathological gambling of 35% among men and 28% among women who use shelter and drop-in services.

Problem gambling is associated with serious health concerns (e.g., substance use, mental illness, trauma, chronic illness, and disability) and many social determinants of health (e.g., early childhood trauma, homelessness, poor social support). However, problem gambling prevention and treatment services are often inaccessible to the people who need them, when they need them. Service deserts, long wait lists, limited operating hours, lack of integrated services, and stigma prevent people from seeking and getting help.

eHealth technologies can improve access and adherence to care, and have the potential to address core challenges in current problem gambling services, such as low rates of treatment-seeking, high relapse rates, and the reality that mental health and addiction services in Canada are not meeting public needs. Working with community partners, we co-designed an innovative and inclusive eHealth app to help people reduce the financial, psychological, social, and health harms associated with problem gambling. We designed the app to be used as either as adjunct to or an alternative to current care options.

Dr. Arthur McLuhan

Dr. Arthur McLuhan is a postdoctoral fellow at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. A sociologist of culture and interaction, his research examines the interactional patterns that sustain group affiliations, shape identities, maintain boundaries, and reproduce inequalities. He uses qualitative methods to study these issues across a variety of groups and social settings. His postdoctoral research is focused in two areas: (1) problem gambling, poverty, and homelessness and (2) incarceration, re-entry, and health.

Dr. Alireza Sadeghian

Dr. Sadeghian is a Professor of Computer science with extensive expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. He is the founding Director of the Advanced Artificial Intelligence Initiative (AI2) Laboratory where he investigates development of AI methods to analyze physiological and clinical data from different modalities to discover potential biomarkers with significant clinical value in improving diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Homelessness and Housing

Substance Use and Harm Reduction

Dr. Flora Matheson

Dr. Flora Matheson is a medical sociologist, mental health and addictions specialist, and the St. Michael's Hospital Chair in Homelessness, Housing and Health. Using a gender lens, she investigates the social determinants of mental health, substance and alcohol use, homelessness, problem gambling, and criminal justice involvement.


  • Dr. Alireza Sadeghian Principal Investigator
  • Julia Bloomenfeld
    Knowledge User
  • Sylvia Hagopian
    Knowledge User
  • Vince Pietropaolo
    Knowledge User
  • Trudy Smit Quosai
    Knowledge User
  • Shelley White
    Knowledge User


  • Madison Ford, Research Coordinator


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


  • Good Shepherd Ministries
  • The Jean Tweed Centre
  • Fred Victor
  • Costi Immigrant Services
  • Gambling Research Exchange Ontario
  • Public Health Ontario
  • YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program
  • Gambling, Gaming and Technology Use, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Responsible Gambling Council
  • Connex Ontario

Contact Info

Dr. Flora Matheson

Principal Investigator

(416) 864-6060 ext. 77482