Michael Burke

Candidate for Affiliates Seat 2017-2020

What is your interest in serving on the Board? What skills can you bring to the Board?

It is my hope to bring awareness of the addiction disordered gambling to the general public. I have spent my life working with addicts.  I was a patient at a substance abuse facility in 1978.  I can tell you that we are today with gambling where we were 40 years ago with alcoholism.  That will only change through education and awareness.

I was on the Board of Brighton Hospital, the Board of Livingston County United Way, the Michigan Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors and the State of Michigan Health Professional Recovery Program.

What is your vision for NCPG, and what goals do you have for the organization?

My vision for NCPG is to see a national destigmatizing of disordered gambling in the same manner as alcoholism has been greatly destigmatized.  Only one in ten gamblers are seeking help and that must be changed.

What relevant leadership and/or committee roles have you held in NCPG, state Affiliate or related organizations?

I am currently the Affiliate Representative for the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling and also serve as the Executive Director.

What ideas and experience do you have that can help NCPG grow its membership and fundraising?

I believe that I can help bring a greater membership into being by working with the inpatient and outpatient Substance Abuse Programs around. By convincing these programs to do a simple screening we could identify between 12% to 20% of their patients as having a gambling problem.

I believe that our board could assist in implementation of an introductory gambling program specifically devised for Substance Abuse patients.

Do you have any personal or professional conflicts that would prevent you from engaging fully in advocacy or fundraising? If so, please describe them.

None

How long have you been a member of NCPG and what led you to join initially?

I have been a member of NCPG for ten years.  I joined because I wanted to be around the people who are making a significant difference in the gambling arena.

Biographical Statement

I was married to my wife, Jane, for 47 years when she died a year and a half ago from a brain tumor. I have two daughters and two granddaughters.  My family and my work in the gambling arena for the past 13 years are my purpose for living today.  I receive incredible satisfaction from both.

I am in recovery from alcoholism for 39 years and recovery from gambling for 16 years.  I was a lawyer in a small community for 25 years before I was disbarred in 2001 because of embezzlement of clients funds to feed my gambling addiction.  As a direct result of that activity I served three years in prison and was ordered to repay to my victims the sum of 1.6 million dollars.

Upon returning home I wrote a book about my addiction which has been published by the American Bar Association.  The name of the book is Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story Of How He Gambled His Career Away. Proceeds from the book go to my victims.

Today I travel around the U.S. giving my talks on gambling.  I have spoken in over 40 states.

I also serve today as the Executive Director of the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling.

Nominated by: Janet Miller, Executive Director, Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling