August 2014 (Vol. 17, Iss. 2)
The 28th National Conference on Problem Gambling was held July 11-12 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida. A collegial crowd of about 450 attendees were welcomed by the co-host Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) and its Executive Director Pat Fowler and NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte. Attendees enjoyed several days of education and training for up to 30 CEU’s, professional development, networking opportunities and more, including the Highlight event at SeaWorld. Attendees came from 42 states and 7 other countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The main conference included 45 presentations with 77 speakers. The Pre-conference Workshops, July 9-10, provided in-depth training with 12 presentations given by 29 speakers. In addition, there was an all-day Helpline Symposium during the Pre-Conference Workshops and a Certification Symposium that brought together a small group of representatives from different concerned organizations. 97 per cent of attendees responding rated the conference ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’
On Friday, July 11, John Fontana, FCCG board member, opened the Main Conference by welcoming attendees on behalf of the Seminole Tribe of FloridaJudy DiCenzo, GTECH, introduced Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT),who gave the keynote address on The Affordable Care Act, DSM-5 and Gambling Addiction.
The Friday lunch plenary was a heartwarming ceremony for NCPG’s annual National Awards (see story, pg. 4). On Saturday, July 12, plenary speaker Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky of McGill University was introduced by Connie Jones of AGEM. He presented on 25 Years of Youth Gambling Research: What Do We Know and Should We Care?
The lunch plenary was a moving presentation titled Fighting for My Life from Betty White who survived a loved one’s problem gambling and its horrific consequences.
I wanted to do an episode about Chuck having a gambling problem. I wanted to portray my addiction on the show. But I think it’s a little edgy for Saturday night.
–Fisher Stevens on playing Chuck Fishman on Early Edition.
If edgy means at the forefront of a trend or daringly innovative, perhaps it’s time (beyond time) to bring gambling addiction to Saturday night television. If edgy means problem gambling is just too hard for people to truly see, then we, as a society, must find a way to take off the blinders and really look at the elephant in the room for what it is.
Everyone who works in our field – from treatment providers to prevention specialists; from researchers to administrators and more; works hard to try to help people understand the realities of problem gambling and the real people who experience problems with gambling. We’ve made progress, but problem gambling, even among professionals in the mental and behavioral health fields, often remains in the shadows if it is addressed at all.
And, the stigma that surrounds problem gambling often keeps people from seeking treatment. Stigma is a significant barrier to both prevention and treatment efforts.
As we came together in Orlando for our 28th National Conference on Problem Gambling, I heard talk in sessions, at lunch tables, even around the pool, about how to bring Problem Gambling out of the shadows and into the realm of a true Public Health issue. How do we advocate for this – not just advocating for funding and awareness through legislation (which is crucial), but advocating with our colleagues and peers in mental and behavioral health at the national level? How do we expand on the great work of our National Problem Gambling Awareness Month to make community education, education in schools, awareness campaigns and early interventions a truly national effort?
How do we help bring awareness to the fact that, when gambling has grown to a widely acceptable form of entertainment, then encouraging those who have gambling problems to seek help should not be stigmatized, but applauded and supported? Let’s make “edgy” that innovative forefront of a trend that we’re not afraid to see in our living rooms on a Saturday night.
This issue is filled with highlights from the 28th National Conference on Problem Gambling, held in July in Orlando, FL. One of the highlights for NCPG is to review the evaluations. This year, the ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’ combined totaled a 97% approval rating, the highest recorded in over a decade.
I have to again express my sincere gratitude to so many who help with the conference. Thanks to our gracious and generous hosts, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, and to NCPG staff for working so hard throughout the year. Thanks to our sponsors who provide essential support.
Thanks to the presenters and exhibitors who provide the content. And most of all, thanks to the attendees. From the first-timers to the veterans like Steve Block, Dr. Henry Lesieur and Dr. Rachel Volberg, who remember when everyone could fit in a small meeting room—it is you who make the conference special. People come because problem gambling is an important issue, but they keep coming back for the people in the field. One of the things I hear most often from attendees is the appreciation they have for the opportunity to engage with peers and leaders in the field, and for the willingness of their fellow professionals to share and collaborate. It is a tradition that leaders like Steve, Henry and Rachel inherited from our founders and it is one that we pledge to carry on.
So while one conference closes, the next opens. We are already working hard with Maryland’s Council and Center of Excellence to build on the success of Orlando. So – look forward to Berger’s cookies and Chesapeake Bay blue crabs in Baltimore next year! And most importantly, come back to contribute your experience, to share your ideas and insights, and to sustain the conference—your conference—as the most welcoming, challenging, enjoyable and intense event in the problem gambling and responsible gaming field.
NCPG is proud to announce a NEW benefit for our members! You can post a position opening or post your resume in our Job Bank.
Find your next new hire from a pool of professionals with exactly the academic training, credentials and hands-on experience that you are looking for, whether in responsible gaming or problem gambling.
Looking for the next phase of your life? Post your resume and let the executives come to you, already knowing that you are likely a good fit for a position they may not even have advertised yet.
This benefit is available to current members only: Affiliates and their Peer Members; Organizational Members and their co-members; and Individual Members of any of our categories, including students and joint members. You’ll find the link on the bottom menu of our website at www.ncpgambling.org.
Not a member yet? Join online at www.ncpgambling.org/joinnow!
Members are invited to submit articles for our next newsletter. Suggested topics include recovery, prevention, counseling and responsible gaming. Limit 500 words, deadline Friday, September 26. Email your article to . NCPG reserves the right to edit for length and clarity.
After an intense search process, NCPG has hired a new Program Administrator, Amy Feinberg. Amy Feinberg joined NCPG in August 2014. She previously worked at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), TASH (formerly known as The Association for the Severely Handicapped) and the American Association of Health Education (AAHE). She holds a Masters in Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BS in Health Sciences from James Madison University. Amy is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). As the Program Administrator at NCPG, Amy oversees major programs including the Helpline Network (800-522-4700), National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, and the Holiday Lottery Campaign. She also administers the National Certified Gambling Counselor (NCGC) program. Amy lives in Woodbridge, VA.
NCPG presented its 2014 National Awards at the 28th National Conference on Problem Gambling in Orlando, Florida. Chip Polston, Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, chaired the Awards Committee and served as MC at the plenary awards ceremony.
Each year NCPG honors individuals and organizations for their dedicated work on problem gambling and responsible gaming issues in order to spotlight exceptional service, innovative ideas and hard work. We applaud all the nominees and congratulate this year’s worthy recipients.
The NCPG Lifetime Awards are bestowed only in exceptional times and circumstances, to individuals who exemplify at least twenty years of service on behalf of problem gamblers.
Carol O’Hare, Executive Director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (above), received the Monsignor Joseph Dunne Lifetime Award for Advocacy. This award is given in recognition of career dedication to improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families through advocacy, research, training or the promotion of public awareness.
The Dr. Robert Custer Lifetime Award for Direct Service was given posthumously to Joanna Franklin. She truly exemplifies exceptional and long-standing achievement in the direct provision of services to problem gamblers and their families. One nominator wrote: “I cannot think of any one person who has more influenced the field of problem gambling than Joanna Franklin. Through her work in training professionals and developing credentialing standards, consulting with government agencies on the development of prevention and treatment programs, and direct clinical care, she represented the highest standards of work and practice as well as unselfish dedication.” The award was accepted by Joanna’s husband, Carl Robertson, granddaughters Kelsey and Nicole Hundt and daughter Katherine Robertson.
The Lifetime Research Award was given to Dr. Alex Blaszczynski. This award is given to honor exceptional long-standing achievement in the field of research, defined as deliberate scientific study which fosters assistance to problem gamblers, families and the prevention of problem gambling.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida (STF) received this award to recognize their outstanding commitment to social responsibility. For more than a decade, the STF has been the largest voluntary contributor to the Florida Council. In 2010, as part of the compact agreement with the state, the STF voluntarily agreed to provide $1.75 million for compulsive gambling treatment and services in Florida. This enabled FCCG to develop and implement a statewide program which provides free treatment for problem gamblers and those adversely affected by gambling. Allen D. Huff, Chairman of the Seminole Tribal Gaming Commission, accepted the award.
In honor of Joanna Franklin’s contributions to our field—and for the tremendous spirit she brought to our organization—the NCPG Board of Directors voted to name the annual award for direct service in her honor. The first recipient of the new award is Dr. Heather Chapman, NCGC-II. Recognized for her dedication and humility, Dr. Chapman is Director of the Gambling Treatment Program and Deputy Director of the Veterans Addiction Recovery Center at the Louis Stokes Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cleveland, OH.
The Don Hulen Award for Advocacy is given annually to recognize dedication to improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families through advocacy, training, or the promotion of public awareness. Jean Holthaus, now with the Veterans Administration in Topeka, won for her courageous efforts to combat a massive cut to the problem gambling budget in Kansas.
The “A Game Should Remain A Game” website created by Loto-Quebec received the award for an outstanding website that has best raised public awareness of problem or pathological gambling.
Holiday Responsible Gaming Campaign Award
This award is for the best material prepared by a lottery in support of the holiday lottery campaign, a grassroots campaign offered and coordinated by NCPG each year in December. The 2014 winner was the Illinois Lottery.
Harry Esteve, of The Oregonian, won the annual Media Award for outstanding news reporting in the past year that has best covered problem gambling issues. One nominator said the series led to numerous statewide changes, including “…the passing of two problem gambling bills in the state’s legislature and a marked spike in calls to the state’s problem gambling helpline.”
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation received the Newsletter Award for Chatter That Matters, which highlights their responsible gaming and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Chelsea Turner accepted.
People’s Choice Award
The most popular print public awareness message as voted on by the attendees at the National Council on Problem Gambling conference was Know When To Fold ‘Em, developed by the West Virginia Problem Gamblers Helpline Network.
Public Awareness Award
For the second time in two years, the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, in partnership with the Washington Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, won this award for the outstanding TV or radio public awareness message in the past year. This was the most heavily contested category this year. Maureen Greeley, Executive Director, accepted.
Prevention Showcase ‘Best in Show’ Award: Amanda Burke, Problem Gambling Prevention Specialist, Kent State University, Ohio.
Prevention Showcase ‘People’s Choice’ Award: Kelly Chau, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), San Jose, California.
This award was given to Carl Robertson. One nomination noted “…his dedication to learning the discipline of prevention, and applying that knowledge and skill to providing well-designed and researched prevention programs.” The award recognizes outstanding annual achievement in advocacy, development, integration, outreach, research or training in the area of prevention of problem gambling.
This award for the outstanding graduate doctoral dissertation in the area of problem gambling went to Dr. Jamey Lister for his work on the relationship of decision-making to ‘chasing’ behavior.
The award is given to the applicant judged to have the best potential to contribute to our scientific knowledge and clinical understanding of gambling addiction.
Dr. Lister is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Networking is always a valuable benefit and a popular reason to attend the National Conference. This year included 13 events — more than ever! There was a Welcome Reception sponsored by the Seminole Tribe of Florida; Highlight event at SeaWorld Orlando featuring dinner, access to the park, and Shamu Show; and two plenary lunches with guided regional networking. The first-ever Fun Run gave about 50 participants some exercise too. And the morning and afternoon coffee breaks help continue conversations! It’s a great way to see old friends and make new connections with whom to exchange ideas and help all year long!
“…I like meeting people from across the country who care…”
“…I love getting ideas to work with back in my community…”
“…I like meeting leaders in the field …”
In June, the Members of NCPG held the annual election for the Board of Directors. Each year, a minimum of five seats are open; nominees must be current NCPG members. Judge Mark Farrell, Nan Horner and Chip Polston were elected to serve three-year terms on the NCPG Board of Directors. Maureen Greeley was re-elected to a second term and Cathie Perrault was appointed to fill a resigned seat. These terms are 2014 to 2017 and the seats are respectively Individuals, Organizations, and three Affiliate seats, corresponding to the categories of NCPG members.
Judge Farrell served as the Senior Justice in the Amherst NY Criminal and Civil Court for 20 years, retiring in December 2013. Judge Farrell implemented the first suburban Drug Treatment Court in the country in 1996, the only Gambling Treatment Court in the world in 2001 and the first suburban Veterans Treatment Court in the nation in 2009. Farrell served as a JAG in the USAF during the Vietnam era and was an Area General Courts Martial Defense Counsel for the southeastern United States. He has served on NCPG’s Military Committee.
Nannette (Nan) Horner is Chief Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer/Board Secretary for Empire Resorts, Inc. (NY). She was Deputy Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and was named the PGCB’s first Director of the Office of Compulsive & Problem Gambling. She chairs NCPG’s Membership Committee, and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law and its Responsible Gaming Committee.
Chip Polston serves as the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling’s representative to NCPG, as chair of NCPG’s Awards committee, and previously served on NCPG’s Communications subcommittee. He first joined the Kentucky Lottery as a host of the nightly drawing show 21 years ago, and assumed his current position as Vice President of Communications, Government and Public Relations eleven years ago. Chip has been a member of the NASPL responsible gaming committee for eight years and sits on the World Lottery Association responsible gaming work-group, a six-member panel that addresses responsible gambling practices for the global community.
Maureen Greeley is Executive Director of the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (WA) and was previously the Communications Director and Problem Gambling Program Manager for the Washington Lottery. She served as NCPG’s President for 2013-2014.
Cathie Perrault is the Executive Director of the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance, the NCPG Affiliate in Minnesota. She has over 20 years experience in nonprofit management and communications, including executive positions at Hazelden as well as Crisis Connection. She has served on NCPG’s Nominations & Elections Committee.
The Board selected their officers for 2014-2015 while meeting in Orlando in July: Maureen Greeley, Wiley Harwell, Rose Gruber and Ray Pineault were re-elected as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
NCPG also wishes to thank retiring Board members Paul Ashe, Mary Drexler, Connie Jones and Renee Siegel.
Many thanks to all of you who brought your information and engagement to the conference! Your enthusiasm and genuine concern for the issue of problem gambling bring energy and life to the NCPG National Conference on Problem Gambling. If you are looking for information and services in problem gambling, please take a moment to explore the Exhibitors who provided such a great presence at the conference. Contact information can be found here.
BreakPoint Books (Florida)
C.A.R.E. Treatment Center (Florida)
Compulsive Gambling: What’s It All About, Dr. Valerie Lorenz (Maryland)
Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
Gamblers Anonymous / GamAnon
Gambling Addiction Client Workbook, Dr. Robert Perkinson (South Dakota)
Gambling Treatment Services (Arizona)
Health Management Systems of America (Michigan)
Know When to Hold ‘Em, Dr. Damon Dye (Florida)
Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
Maryland Council on Problem Gambling
Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling
Mobly Media (Florida)
Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling
Project Turnabout (Minnesota)
Recovery Road (Florida)
Windmoor Healthcare of Clearwater (Florida)
Major thanks go to our sponsors, whose support makes the conference possible and helps keep registration fees affordable. Sponsors receive visibility among their peers in a cost-effective way, along with public acknowledge- ment of the organization’s support and engagement in responsible gaming and problem gambling. Thank you!
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Star Spangled Banner Sponsors
Four Winds Casino Resort
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians*
Wind Creek Hospitality*
Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM)*
International Game Technology (IGT)*
Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino*
The Rational Group*
Magic City Casino
Mescalero Responsible Gaming Program
Palm Beach Kennel Club
United Community & Family Service
50 States Sponsors
Daytona Beach Kennel Club
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency*
Northstar Lottery Group*
Northstar New Jersey
Ohio Lottery Commission
We the People Sponsors
Gaming Laboratories International LLC
Georgia Lottery Corporation*
Mid-western Connecticut Council on Alcoholism (MCCA)
North Carolina Education Lottery
Penn National Gaming Foundation, Inc.*
Association of Problem Gambling State Administrators (APGSA)
C.A.R.E. Treatment Center
Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling^
The Connection, Inc.
Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling*
Maryland Council on Problem Gambling^
Sponsors as of 8/1/14
*Corporate/Organizational Member, NCPG
^Affiliate Member, NCPG
To become a sponsor for the 2015 National Conference, contact Barbara Rollins at 202-547-9204×25 or .
Organizational Membership is for corporations and other businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies, including Tribal entities. Click here to see a list of current Organizational Members.
There are three levels. Nonprofits and government agencies may participate using substantially discounted rates. Depending on the level chosen, a number of staff or Board members are entitled to Individual Memberships as part of the benefits of the Organizational Membership. For details, visit www.ncpgambling.org/joinnow.
Organizational members play an important role in supporting NCPG — thank you!
The National Council on Problem Gambling provides advocates with a road map to ensure gambling addiction is incorporated into the evolving national healthcare system.
In July, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) released a new report:
Problem Gambling in the 21st Century Healthcare System: Implications of the DSM-5, ACA and Parity for Problem Gambling Treatment and Advocacy to provide policy makers, counselors, problem gamblers and their families with essential information to help shape how gambling addiction is included in healthcare reform. With the behavioral health landscape shifting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the reclassification of problem gambling within the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the changing environment offers an opportunity to further embed help for problem gambling within mainstream healthcare. This report examines the opportunities under these new laws and offers recommendations for effective problem gambling advocacy in the 21st century healthcare system.
“NCPG will lead the way by harnessing the power of determined individuals and organizations who demand change. For too long, the concerns of problem gamblers, their families and the treatment community have been met with indifference at the state and national level,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. “With an annual social cost of approximately $7 billion, coverage for the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction is clearly the most ethical and economical way to minimize harm.”
The report identifies seventeen recommendations in four broad advocacy areas that problem gambling advocates should pursue, according to Maureen Greeley, NCPG President. “Both the ACA and other legislative actions that expand behavioral health coverage will have major implications for problem gambling treatment. NCPG will continue to lead the way in bringing together individuals and organizations who want to ensure that integration is not simply a buzz word in the public health lexicon.”
Greeley continued, “Gambling disorder clearly falls within the ACA’s behavioral health benefit and, equally important, the significant relationship between problem gambling and other behavioral health conditions simply requires that treating individuals with co-occurring conditions becomes a standard practice. But it will take strong advocacy efforts, particularly at the state level, to demand that crucial details and practical applications are addressed in order to guarantee that covered benefits don’t remain vague or open to vast differences in interpretation.”
Authors: Raanan Kagan of Carnevale & Associates; Keith Whyte of NCPG; Joshua Esrick and John Carnevale of Carnevale & Associates.
A free copy of the complete report is available at: http://www.ncpgambling.org/ACA-DSM5-Brief. NCPG Members may request to have a printed copy mailed to you by contacting us at .Be sure to provide your name and mailing address.
|The vision of the National Council on Problem Gambling is to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.Our mission is to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.NCPG is neither for nor against legalized gambling. Our primary concern is to help problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with the law. Tax ID #51-0141872.If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 for confidential help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the United States.|