The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the only national advocacy organization for people and their families who are affected by problem gambling and gambling addiction, honored leaders in responsible gambling and problem gambling at the National Problem Gambling Awards Ceremony on July 19, 2019 held during the 33rd National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling in Denver, Colorado. The Awards Ceremony was sponsored by Ohio for Responsible Gambling, which is comprised of Ohio Casino Control Commission, Ohio Lottery Commission, Ohio State Racing Commission, and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“The NCPG Conference provides training and information for our diverse stakeholders, supporting our mission of increasing comprehensive resources and education on responsible gambling and problem gambling,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. “The National Problem Gambling Awards Ceremony demonstrates the importance and impact of leadership in recent work in these fields.”
The National Problem Gambling Awards recognize the efforts of individuals, affiliates, non-profit organizations, and corporations with annual awards lauding the achievements made during the previous calendar year. Lifetime Achievement awards are also presented to individuals but more rarely. There is a wide range of awards for work in communications (public awareness, website, newsletter, and multi-cultural communications), advocacy and direct service, as well as responsible gambling and corporate social responsibility. Recipients were selected based upon fulfillment of award criteria, efficacy, and nomination endorsements.
2019 featured a presentation of NCPG’s most prestigious honor – the Dr. Robert Custer Lifetime Award for Direct Service, given to an individual for exceptional long-standing achievement in the direct provision of services to people and families affected by problem gambling. Anyone nominated must have a minimum of 20 years of documented work with direct impact. The recipient is Dr. Loreen Rugle for her over thirty years of leadership in working with people and families affected by problem gambling. Dr. Rugle received her Ph.D in clinical psychology before going on to becoming the Director of the Brecksville Veterans Administration Gambling Treatment Program (started by Dr. Robert Custer). Then, she joined Trimeridian’s Custer Center as Clinical Director before taking on the position of Director of Problem Gambling Services at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Subsequently, Dr. Rugle worked as the Program Director for the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, and currently serves as the Responsible Gambling Specialist for NASPL.
NCPG thanks all nominees and congratulates all recipients for their leadership and efforts towards responsible gambling and problem gambling. Learn more about the National Problem Gambling Awards and find the full list of the 2019 National Gambling recipients here.