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25.05.2016

A Map Helps Gambling Addicts to Stay Clean

Tempting for all ages: A casino in New Jersey (Source: commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=658954)

Gamble, work, gamble, work: That is the everyday existence of gambling addicts. There are more than 12 000 gambling addicts in Hamburg – and many more, that are at risk. Like other addicts, their thoughts revolve around the next kick, the big win at a casino or betting shop. Consequences of gambling addiction are bankruptcy, mental problems, and social relegation. In cities like Berlin or Hamburg, it is not easy for addicts to stay away from their ‘substance’: At every corner, there are gambling halls and betting shops. 

Mind the Gambling Hell

This fact is the starting point of Mind the Gambling Hell. This interactive map shows around 390 gambling halls in Hamburg in order to help gambling addicts to protect themselves. With this map they could find the best way get from A to B without being tempted. This map has been developed at the Open Data Day Hackathon in March 2016, organized by Code for Hamburg and Ubilabs.

 

The initial impulse: support abstinence

One participant at the Open Data Day Hackathon told the story of her boyfriend, who has problems to reach his destination in Hamburg, without passing by tempting gambling halls or slot machines. Before he got abstinent five years ago, he has lost a lot – and fought his way back into a life without gambling. Like for other addicts, he could have a relapse at any time.  

An interactive gambling hall map

Within the Hackathon, the gambling hall map was created by using the mapping technology from CartoDB, which is based on Open Street Map. As raw data, information about gambling concessions was procured in advance – supported by a request of the Greens to the city government. These 390 data sets are just a beginning. To date, a complete listing of betting shops, Lotto Centre and slot machine casinos is missing. On the gambling hall map there are significant hotspots shown in St. Georg and St. Pauli. But other districts such as Eidelstedt or Horn have a high density of gambling halls as well.

Next steps: Navigation without temptations

This map can serve game addicted people as a practical help, specifically to circumvent gambling halls on their way through the city. In the next step, a smart navigation app will be developed, to guide the gamblers from A to B without coming into contact with gambling halls.