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NCPG receives support for upcoming conference

21 November 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The National Council on Problem Gambling is thankful for the significant support from state, national and international sponsors, who empowered the nonprofit to produce its 34th National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling. Originally planned for July in Washington, DC, the conference format was adapted to enable attendance during the pandemic, while providing its signature mix of targeted training for both gambling addiction and responsible gambling in the context of advocacy, awareness and assistance. The conference was split into three parts, all online and all in afternoon time slots to serve multiple time zones spanning California to Europe – a Digital Symposium, 20-23 July; a Main Conference, 5-6 November and 12-13 November; and Master Classes, slated for 2, 3 and 9 December 2020.

“We were proud that we were able to provide these critical services to the field and our stakeholders, even amid the covid-19 pandemic,” said NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte. “We work with people from all sides of the issue – from gaming operators to healthcare providers and regulatory agencies – reflecting our mission to bring together everyone involved. We feel it’s important that all these voices are heard as we work toward our common goal of reducing harm from gambling addiction.”

Gambling and help-seeking behaviors have changed substantially during the pandemic, and the NCPG Conference, as always, sought to address new developments in the field as well as discuss proven practices that remain effective. Counseling services and self-help groups have been largely prevented from offering in-person sessions due to the pandemic, although many have adapted to use different platforms, such as online or phone meetings or telehealth, although this has brought new complications for some.

While in-person gambling participation plummeted, online gambling soared during the pandemic. Sports betting continues to expand and is now legal in 23 states. Yet risks are increasing for people who gamble due to the social isolation, depression and financial consequences of the pandemic, while impacted individuals and families are left with less access to help. These are all issues that the NCPG Conference worked to address through careful selection of topics and expert speakers, providing a timely and much-needed unique mix of cross-training services to the field.
“We extend sincere thanks to Conference Steering Committee co-chairs Nicole Jordan of the DC Lottery, Carolyn Hawley of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling, and Donna Gaspar of the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling,” said NCPG Board of Directors President Robert Jacobson. “They were integral to the planning and re-planning of the conference."
The National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling brings together diverse stakeholders to provide expert training to problem gambling and gambling professionals from across the nation. Approximately 520 attendees specializing in the areas of treatment, prevention, education, research, judicial, regulatory, legislative, and other fields, as well as the recovery community, came together to deepen their knowledge of their own disciplines and learn from each other’s work. In addition to the ‘live’ sessions, recordings of the sessions will be available to the registrants for 30 days, allowing them to fit their personal and professional development into other obligations.

Almost $288,000 in sponsorships was contributed for the Digital Symposium and Main Conference combined, with support from 23 sponsors, including significant underwriting from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. All sponsorship contributions support the conference and the work of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

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