Digital symposium Program

The Digital Symposium will be conducted via Zoom and allow for Q&A with presenters.

Conference Track Key:

 TX – TreatmentREC – Recovery & CommunitySP – Sports 
RG – Responsible GamblingPX – PreventionGEN – No Track, General Information

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2022

CE’s

Time (ET)

Track

Session Details

0.25
12:00 pm – 12:15 pm
Welcome
GENIntroduction & Welcome
0.5
12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Session 1
RG

State of the States – Hot Topics in Gambling Legislation & Regulation

Cole Wogoman; Brianne Doura Schawohl; Marvin Yates

0.5
12:45 PM – 1:15 PM
Session 2
SP

The Rise and Rise of Female Sports-Bettors

Christina Thakor-Rankin

0.5
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Session 3
REC

Better Together: Black Women Speak Out About Casino Gambling

Sandra Adell, PhD; Karen Reddick; Cassandra Belton

 N/A
1:45 PM – 2:00 PM
BREAK
GENBreak
0.5
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Session 4
RG

Tracking Markers of Harm for Online Gamblers: How, When, Why?

Sarah Ramanuskas; Malcolm Bruce

0.5
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Session 5
PX

Foundations in Gaming Disorder: Training Professionals on the New Frontier

Maureen Greeley; Tana Russell; Odessa Dwarika; Phil Sherwood

0.5
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Session 6
TX

Lessons Learned from Creating a Gambling Treatment Program from Scratch

Ken Litwak, ICGC-II

0.5
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Session 7
RG

How to Video Game Responsibly

Martin Lycka; Cam Adair; Bubba Gaeddert 

0.25
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Closing
GEN

Closing

Thursday June 9, 2022

CE’s

Time (ET)

Track

Session Details

0.25
12:00 pm – 12:15 pm
Welcome
GENDay Two Introduction & Welcome
0.5
12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Session 8
RG

Remote Voluntary Self-Exclusion and Online RG/PG Support

Phil Sherwood; Ray Fluette

0.5
12:45 PM – 1:15 PM
Session 9
REC

The Emotional Roller Coaster: Family Support

Ken Martz, PsyD, ICGC-II, BACC

0.5
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Session 10
RG

A Public Health Response to Sports Betting

Blair Inniss, JD

 N/A
1:45 PM – 2:00 PM
BREAK
GENBreak
0.5
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Session 11
PX

A Whole New World: Gambling in the Metaverse

James Syphax

0.5
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Session 12
PX

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: From Conceptualization to Community Practice

Victor Ortiz; Haner Hernandez, PhD; Rebecca Bishop

0.5
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Session 13
SP

Wild World of Sports Betting

Dan Trolaro

0.5
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Session 14
TX

Helpline Modernization

Jaime Costello; Keith Whyte

0.25
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Closing
GENClosing

Digital Symposium SESSION ABSTRACTS

State of the States – Hot Topics in Gambling Legislation & Regulation

Cole Wogoman; Brianne Doura Schawohl;  Marvin Yates

This session will examine an overview of the sports wagering landscape in the US and consider ways in which states legalizing sports wagering have gotten responsible and problem gambling provisions right, and ways in which states have fallen short on these initiatives. The session will cover the most recent states to have legalized sports betting and the responsible and problem gambling specifics in those states. The presenters will cover a variety of approaches that legislators, regulators, health officials, and private stakeholders have been and should be taking to create a safe and sustainable gambling market. They will also analyze trends that have emerged as the majority of states have legalized sports betting and detail how some of the first movers are now looking to update their laws. The presentation will end highlighting some of the biggest takeaways and lessons learned from legalized sports wagering since the overturning of PASPA and will preview which states are likely to be the next in line to legalize sports wagering.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the legislative happenings around sports wagering throughout the nation.
  • Identify statutory barriers and intersections to responsible and problem gambling policy.
  • Explain how legislation legalizing sports wagering has evolved from the early movers to the more recent states, recognizing trends and best practices to create a safe and sustainable sports wagering environment.
The Rise and Rise of Female Sports-bettors

Christina Thakor-Rankin

Facts: Women’s soccer is the fastest growing sport on the planet and growing faster in the US than anywhere else. Soccer is the single most popular betting market in the world. Studies in the US suggest that as many as 43% of sports-bettors identify as female. The US (current world champion) will be defending its title at the next Women’s World Cup in 2 years’ time. Some US sportsbook operators have woken up to the fact that women bet. Many of these bettors come from Generation Z. For Gen Z ‘win’ does not mean money. How the next Women’s World Cup will be an anthem for women’s rights across the world. Assumptions: Logic says that if the above is true then by 2023 the US will probably have the highest number of female soccer sports-bettors in the world. And as a consequence, probably the highest number of female problem sports-bettors in the world. Problem: Almost everything we know about problem sports-bettors is based on men.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the science behind the facts and assumptions, and ask the question ‘What can we do to minimize the risk of a new generation of female problem sports-bettors?
  • Increased understanding and awareness about this growing group of customers: What motivates female bettors? Who are they and where do they come from? How many are there? How are they different to male sports bettors?
  • Identify what we need to do to minimize the risks of a new generation of problem gamblers by exploring the following: How do we engage, educate, and effectively communicate with this group? What are the most effective ways of preventing and treating? The consequences of doing nothing until it is too late.
Better Together: Black Women Speak out About Casino Gambling

Sandra Adell, PhD; Karen Reddick; Cassandra Belton

The expansion of casino gambling across the US is having a devastating impact on vulnerable communities, particularly the Black community. Among those within the community who are becoming addicted to gambling at an alarming rate are Black women. However, there is very little research into the underlying causes of why Black women are turning to casino gambling as their primary form of leisure activity. In fact, the only published account of gambling addictions among Black women is a 2009 Florida study. Based on calls to the States gambling helpline, it concluded that gambling rates among Black women were 51 percent higher than those of Black men. The main reason that research among Black women is so sparse is because it’s difficult to find Black women who are willing to share their stories of addiction and recovery. This panel, titled Better Together seeks to change that by presenting three Black women whose stories will provide insights into the following questions/problems: What are the emotional and health risks to Black women who become addicted? Why are they not seeking treatment? What are the limitations of current treatment and recovery practices? Specifically, how does the intersection of race, gender, and class affect our decisions about what we reveal about ourselves, both in the presumed safe spaces of treatment programs and support groups, and in public forums where our collective voices may help other Black women who continue to suffer in silence.           

Learning Objectives:

  • To discover ways to improve cultural competency among clinicians working with Black women problem gamblers.
  • To promote understanding about intersectionality as a framework for research on Black women and problem gambling.
  • To develop a “toolbox” for recovery that meets the needs of Black women.
Tracking Markers of Harm for Online Gamblers: How, When, Why?

Sarah Ramanuskas, Malcolm Bruce

This session gives an overview of how markers of gambling harm are identified in online play and the types of technology used. It also provides an introduction to the skills required to interact with players who have been identified as potentially at risk of harm. It will provide the opportunity for participants to debate how this type of behavioral tracking may fit into a responsible gambling program. Led by Sarah Ramanauskas and Malcolm Bruce, who between them have almost 20 years experience of working with gambling operators in Europe and North America on advanced player protection initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

  • How do you identify markers of harm amongst online gamblers?
  • How are markers of harm used to guide interactions with online gamblers?
  • How does behavioral tracking complement other aspects of a safer gambling program?
Foundations in Gaming Disorder: Training Professionals on the New Frontier

Maureen Greeley; Tana Russell; Odessa Dwarika; Phil Sherwood

In 2020 the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health and the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling decided to collaborate to address an emerging need in the field of gambling: video gaming. Together they have formed the first U.S. based comprehensive and evidence-based online course, Foundations in Gaming Disorder, to address video gaming, its connection to gambling, its origins, what the clinical and community science has demonstrated for problems, and how to determine, screen, intervene, treat, and offer alternatives to video gaming for all helping professionals. This workshop will help participants not only understand the elements of content, but also to hear from the course creators the highlights of offering an online course, how to maintain the online community networking, how to maximize adult learning, and highlights of participant evaluations. Participants will also hear how this course has been successfully marketed online and ways that the content is kept current through digital materials and resources. This will be a useful workshop for anyone that wants to know why gambling professionals should learn more about video gaming, how to create and operate an online course, and the next steps in addressing the new frontier for the gambling field.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the similarities and differences between gaming and gambling and why it is important for helping professionals to understand the difference.
  • Participants will determine the new skills and content necessary to help youth and adults with gaming problems and disorder.
  • Participants will describe the results of an online course learning process and how it can transform the learning and networking experience for individuals and the group.
Lessons Learned from Creating a Gambling Treatment Program from Scratch

Ken Litwak, ICGC-II

An opioid treatment agency with one thousand clients hires an ICGC-II and decides to begin offering gambling treatment. This is the story of how a gambling program is created from conception to educating staff, to treating clients in outpatient, residential, and even a jail program. This presentation will discuss training counseling staff about similarities and differences between gambling and substance use, prevalence of gambling, need for treatment of behavioral addiction and working with staff resistance. The presenter will describe in detail how the agency developed and maintained a residential gambling treatment program and outpatient program in four separate locations in three cities. The gambling program includes screening at admissions, further screening with assigned counselors, full assessment by gambling specialists, followed by individual, group, and family counseling. This presentation will describe how the presenter screened the existing thousand clients as well. Finally, the presenter, an ICGC-II, will discuss methods of getting the word out to other agencies and in the community that gambling treatment is now available.            

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will learn how to plan, the steps, and pitfalls of creating a gambling program from scratch.
  • Attendees will learn how to overcome resistance from other professionals regarding the need for gambling treatment. Attendees will learn how to educate addiction professionals who believe there are no gambling clients at their agency. Attendees will learn how to work with addiction professionals who feel that specialized training in gambling is not needed.
  • Attendees will learn how to market a gambling program in their community and among other agencies.
How to Video Game Responsibly

Martin Lycka; Cam Adair; Bubba Gaeddert

Video gaming has firmly established itself as a favorite pastime of the younger generations. eSports, a competitive form of video gaming, is becoming ever more mainstream in sports-related media. Although the regulation remains rather nascent an increasing number of jurisdictions have taken the plunge to regulate betting on esports; it is imperative that responsible gaming is addressed as part of the recent regulatory efforts, drawing on lessons learned in the traditional gambling world. The key to that will be to protect the well-being of both the esports athletes as well as the bettors.  This session is intended to tackle all these fascinating issues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about video gaming and esports.  
  • Discuss existing responsible video gaming and esports standards.
  • Outlook into the future of this field.
Remote Voluntary Self-Exclusion and Online RG/PG Support

Phil Sherwood; Ray Fluette

In 2011, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act provided protections for those who gamble. One of the most potent protections established has been the Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) program. The VSE is a program that allows you to voluntarily exclude yourself from the gaming floor of all Massachusetts casinos for a pre-determined amount of time. Research has shown that VSE can effectively help manage a problem with gambling for some people. In light of the COVID19 pandemic, and since the beginning of 2021, GameSense Advisors and MACGH have successfully utilized “Remote” VSE – allowing individuals to enroll via secure online connections. It’s believed this is the first Remote VSE program in North America. Now, through the top-of-class LiveChat software, coupled with geofencing and behavioral targeting technology, GameSense Advisors and staff from the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH), can market VSE as a recovery tool to those who frequent casinos or participate in online gambling activities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about VSEs, Remote VSEs, and the processes needed to securely conduct enrollment.
  • Identify cutting-edge best practices for marketing VSEs (or any other RG/PG program or service) through LiveChat.
  • Explore outcomes of VSE marketing campaigns that drove LiveChat conversations and Remote VSE enrollment.
The Emotional Roller Coaster: Family Support

Ken Martz, PsyD, ICGC-II, BACC

While there is often an emphasis on work with the individual with gambling disorder, family members also face an emotional roller coaster. This session explores the range of emotions among family members during the cycle of addiction and recovery. Understanding tools to stabilize a supportive family, and neutralize the fear, anger, and shame in family members can help to create an environment that facilitates the successful establishment of recovery.               

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the role of emotions in the development, maintenance, and resolution of effective family functioning
  • Identify the role of 5 key emotions including fear, anger, and grief
  • Identify tools to manage the range of emotions so that they do not impede recovery
A Public Health Response to Sports Betting

Blair Inniss, JD

Nationally, numbers show that problem and disordered gambling is increasing; this increase may be attributed to legalization of sports betting across the country that removes many barriers to the ways individuals can access gambling activities. Problem gambling has not historically been considered or treated through a public health lens but community-focused strategies like those traditionally utilized in public health would increase awareness and can prevent people from ever developing a problem. In this session, attendees will learn about specific public health interventions, including those successfully used by the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, and how to implement prevention strategies in their organizations that can mitigate the harm of problem gambling for individuals and communities. Strategies discussed will include legal requirements for treatment instead of incarceration; screening tools for counselors to utilize when first meeting clients; participating in public awareness campaigns and social media accounts; adding gambling questions to state and national surveys; understanding the risk of co-occurring disorders and knowing your community.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the public health implications of problem gambling
  • Compare a variety of laws and regulations across the country and how they could be more public health focused
  • Explain prevention strategies to mitigate the harms caused by problem gambling
A Whole New World: Gambling in the Metaverse

James Syphax

The world of online gambling is quickly expanding. As problem gambling professionals are still working to learn the basics of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) the metaverse is quickly expanding, as are the opportunities to gamble in the new virtual world. This presentation will provide a quick introduction to cryptocurrency and NFTs and explore the worlds in which they can be used to gamble, including the internet’s most popular NFT casino Decentraland.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the basics of cryptocurrency including what it is, where it comes, from, and how it’s used online.
  • Locate online resources for more information about cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, and alternate realities.
  • Identify new online gambling sites using cryptocurrency and NFTs as they arise.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: From Conceptualization to Community Practice

Victor Ortiz; Haner Hernandez, PhD; Rebecca Bishop

The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 created a new era and changing landscape of gambling opportunities in Massachusetts. This law provided for the establishment of up to three destination resort casinos and one slot parlor in Massachusetts. The introduction of casinos in the Commonwealth placed an urgent need to lead a public health response to mitigate the harms associated with gambling. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness, and health equity for all people. Within MDPH, the Office of Problem Gambling Services (OPGS) was established to ensures a comprehensive and integrated public health response to problem gambling by using data to inform initiatives, engaging communities, and ensuring cultural intelligence and humility. Critical to the work of MDPH and OPGS is data, the social determinants of health, with a vision of eradicating health disparities. The collective effort in partnership with community-based organizations is leading a public health response centered on our values. Such innovative, comprehensive strategies, and centered on equity is unprecedented in the field of gambling. In this workshop, we will provide highlights, opportunities, lesson learned for public health strategies to mitigate the harms associated with gambling. This workshop will feature OPGS prevention framework: a comprehensive effort to promote engagement, equity, and empowerment to mitigate harm and promote health and well-being.       

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify key factors that contribute to and sustain health disparities and their relationship to problem gambling.
  • Identify strategies and techniques in building and promoting health equity.
  • Participants will be able to identify resources.
Wild World of Sports Betting

Dan Trolaro

Consistently, there are more creative and fast paced forms of entertainment to help people escape, cope, or adjust to the stressors of life. Whether finding it through substance, technology, or a variety of other methods, individuals are becoming more daring, tech savvy and tech dependent. One area that has seen an explosion of growth is emergence of legalized sports gambling. Coupled the ability offered by some states to place bets online, individuals now have access to information and opportunities to wager 24 / 7. This workshop will explore the psychological aspects and gambling mechanics common to sports gambling while reviewing responsible gambling practices and resources for those impacted by problem gambling.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the connection and risk of progression from recreational gambling to problem and disordered gambling.
  • Identify responsible gambling tools and also learn of the resources available for those impacted by problem or disordered gambling.
  • Learn about the rapid expansion of sports gambling and emerging trends including the use of “In-Play” wagering and “Early Cash Out” functionality
Helpline Modernization

Jaime Costello; Keith Whyte

Since its inception in 1995, the National Problem Gambling Helpline has seen exponential growth in calls, texts and chat messages for help from individuals across the country and the entire gambling and technology landscape in which we’re working and living has changed drastically.  Over the next three years, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) will be dedicating significant time and efforts to modernize the National Problem Gambling Helpline thanks to a grant received from the National Football League Foundation (NFLF) in 2021.  Through this National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Project, NCPG will work to increase awareness of and ease access to high-quality services received by individuals, families and communities impacted by problem gambling.  During this session, NCPG staff will provide a snapshot of the past, present and future of the National Problem Gambling Helpline. ​

Following this session, participants will be able to​

  • Describe how the National Problem Gambling Helpline connects individuals to help in their respective states.​
  • Name three objectives of the National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Project.​
  • Identify the role of various stakeholders in improving access to high-quality problem gambling services across the country.