The 2022 National Conference on Gambling Addiction and Responsible Gambling took place last week in Boston.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) hosted the conference on July 20 – 22, 2022, at the Westin Boston Seaport District hotel.
Nearly 600 individuals gathered to attend the oldest and largest annual event focusing on gambling addiction, problem gambling, and responsible gambling.
This year’s meeting marked the 36th edition of the event. The gathering brought together individuals and organizations who discussed prevention, education, treatment, responsible gambling, regulation, research, and recovery.
NCPG Executive Director, Keith Whyte, said:
“The worlds of gambling and gaming continue to evolve at ever accelerating speeds. There is great strength in bringing together stakeholders in the fields of responsible gambling and problem gambling to discuss new technology, solutions and partnerships. Each year we look forward to hosting the national conference and allowing it to serve as a conduit for connection, learning and innovation.”
Points from this year’s responsible gambling conference
This year’s NCPG conference theme was Better Together: Advocacy, Awareness & Assistance to emphasize gambling problem awareness.
Some of the topics covered during this year’s conference included factors and conditions, prevention, treatment, responsible gambling, and safer sports betting.
Attendees, trained on methods and information, were taught how to help improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.
The National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling also provided insights on how to:
- Critically evaluate factors and conditions related to matters of problem gambling and responsible gambling
- Be informed of the latest developments in the problem gambling and responsible gambling fields
- Learn about problem gambling and responsible gambling issues that are relevant to diverse populations
Apart from panel discussions, keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities, the conference also focused on sports betting as it continues to expand across the country.
The conference also featured Safer Sports Betting Summit on July 20, 2022. The dedicated event brought together stakeholders in sports and gambling, including representatives from leagues, colleges, sportsbooks, affiliate marketing, and athletes.
These two organizations continue to advocate for problem gamblers
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s mission is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling. The national non-profit also strives to ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families through constant research and programs for prevention and education.
The NCPG – founded in 1972 – aims to serve as an advocate for problem gamblers as well as their families. The organization tries to remain unbiased, saying it takes no formal opinion for or against gambling legalization.
Likewise, a statewide non-profit agency, the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, promotes public health by mitigating the negative personal and community impacts of gambling.
As MACGH’s executive director, Marlene Warner, said:
“Policymakers, advocates, and regulators have long looked towards the Commonwealth as an example of how legalized gambling can be implemented with an eye towards public health. We look forward to sharing our experiences and learning the latest from experienced community and industry leaders.”
The agency accomplishes its mission and purpose through education, federal and state advocacy, research and gaming play information, and prevention and recovery programs.
Massachusetts takes responsible gambling seriously
When Massachusetts legalized commercial casino gambling under the 2011 Gaming Act, lawmakers required the state’s gaming properties to include GameSense in their resorts.
Developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and facilitated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, GameSense is a comprehensive responsible gaming program to help keep gambling fun. It also encourages players to adopt behaviors and attitudes that can reduce the risk of gambling disorders.
Three state casinos – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park – implemented the GameSense and Information Centers that offer on-site resources to visitors 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Players can find all the gambling-related information, including understanding their odds of a given break and starting a Voluntary Self-Exclusion.