Multi-State Summit Highlights Responsible
A three-day multi-state conference on problem gambling and substance abuse
will highlight Missouri’s Responsible Gaming Education Month activities
in August. The second annual Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and
Substance Abuse will be held Aug. 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center
in Kansas City.
This is the seventh year the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling has
designated time to raise statewide awareness about problem-gambling issues.
"We have programs, educational exhibits and presentations throughout the year,
but recognizing one month of the year as Responsible Gaming Education Month
helps to put the spotlight on the seriousness of problem gambling and the
variety of programs Missouri has to help problem gamblers and their families,"
said Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission and
chairman of the Alliance.
"The vast majority of individuals who gamble do so responsibly," Mullally said.
"For some individuals, their gambling has caused serious financial and family
problems. For these reasons, the Alliance members have created a comprehensive
program that includes education, a help line, a variety of free treatment options
The Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse is drawing speakers
and participants from throughout the country. Hosted by the Missouri Alliance to
Curb Problem Gambling, the conference is the result of a joint endeavor by
organizations throughout the four-state region – Missouri, Kansas, Iowa
"We're happy to host this conference for the second year in a row," Mullally
said. "It's a great opportunity for people to become better informed about
problem gambling issues.
Keynote speakers at this year's conference include: Dr. H. Westley Clark of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Jeffrey Derevensky, an
internationally renown problem-gambling expert, professor and co-director
of the International Center for Youth Gambling, Problem and High Risk Behaviors
at McGill University in Montreal; and Joanna Franklin, a certified addictions
counselor, a nationally certified compulsive gambling counselor and director of
Network Development and Training at Trimeridian Inc. in Indianapolis, Ind.
A number of Missouri addiction specialists also will be presenting at this
year's conference. For a complete list of presenters and conference information,
please visit the Alliance's Web site at: www.888betsoff.org.
Also during August, the Missouri Riverboat Gaming Association (MRGA) and
Missouri’s riverboat casino properties are participating in the eighth
annual American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Responsible Gaming Education
Week, Aug. 1-5. This year, employees at Missouri’s riverboat casinos
will participate in training to help learn to direct problem gamblers to the
help line. The training is a key element of the AGA's Responsible Gaming Code
of Conduct adopted last year by Missouri’s casinos and other casino
properties throughout the country.
Additionally, Missouri’s casinos are joining with other casino companies
nationwide in Responsible Gaming Education Week activities. The centerpiece
of the national campaign, organized by the AGA, is the launch of a responsible
gaming awareness wristband program, "Banding Together to Keep It Fun." The
orange wristbands are being worn by casino employees.
Other Alliance activities in August include:
An educational exhibit and workshops at the National Council on Alcohol &
Drug Abuse Youth Leadership Conference, Aug. 4-6, in Chesterfield.
An educational exhibit at the Missouri Black Expo, Aug. 20-21, in St. Louis.
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