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National Council on Problem Gambling Conference


National Council on Problem Gambling Conference Moving Forward in a Challenging Economy July 13-14, 2012 Milwaukee, WI Presenters: Joanna Franklin and Carl Robertson – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: National Council on Problem Gambling Conference

National Council on Problem Gambling
Conference Moving Forward in a Challenging
Economy July 13-14, 2012  Milwaukee, WI
Presenters Joanna Franklin and Carl
Robertson Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA,
Smart ChoicesYouth Problem Gambling
Prevention Program
  • When Does Gambling Become a Problem?
  • Young people develop gambling problems just as
    adults do.
  • Gambling is a problem when you
  • Often find yourself thinking about gambling
  • Miss school or work in order to gamble
  • Spend more and more money on gambling activities
  • Become restless or irritable when trying to cut
    down or stop gambling
  • Gamble to escape or forget your problems
  • Gamble more to win back what you have already
    lost in gambling
  • Spend your lunch or carfare money on gambling
  • Take money from someone you live with, without
    their knowing, in order to gamble
  • Steal money from outside the family or shoplifted
    in order to gamble
  • Experience problems, arguments, fights etc. with
    your family or close friends because of your

A Program to help identify gambling problems and
Stop them before
they Start
Sponsored by the Council on Compulsive Gambling
of Pennsylvania
with support from the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol
Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery and the Gaming
Control Board
To learn more go to WWW.PACOUNCIL.COM Problem
Gambling Helpline 800-848-1884
Smart ChoicesFunded through BDAP
  • Model 3 year Pilot (2009 2012)
  • Type of program primary prevention
  • Content Award winning
  • Focus School/Community Partnership
  • Geographical Statewide
  • Evaluation (Year One and Two completed)

Smart Choices Structure
  • Year One
  • Four Session Model
  • 1. Pre Assessment
  • Level 1 or Level 2
  • 2. Session 1
  • 3. Session 2
  • 4. Post Assessment
  • Year Two
  • Five-Six Session
  • 1. Pre Assessment
  • Level 1 or Level 2
  • Sessions 2 and 3
  • CD-ROM-The Amazing Chateau or Hooked City
  • Session 4 and 5
  • 6. Post Assessment

(No Transcript)
Workshops - schools
  • Elementary and High-School level
  • Highly Interactive
  • ? Targeted intervention
  • Themes Gambling definition, at-risk people,
    chance and independance of events, addiction,
    warning signs, help resources, stress management,
    coping, problem-solving skills, etc.
  • Requested by schools

  • Primary School workshop some examples of topics

  • Game of skill I can control, to some extent, a
    game of skill. If I practice often enough, I can
    become better at it.
  • Game of chance I cant control a game of
    chance. Even if I practice often, I will never
    become better at it.

Can you tell the difference between games of
chance and games of skill?

  • High School workshop some examples of topics

  • Any game of chance or skill that involves
    financial risk.
  • Lottery tickets
  • Cards for money (poker, blackjack)
  • Sports betting (sports pools)
  • VLT (video lottery terminals)
  • Bingo
  • Casino games

  • 4 of adolescents have a gambling addiction.
  • In every class of 25, 1 student would have this
  • Most are boys, but girls can also have a serious

CD-ROM Sessions 4 and 5 CD-ROM-Program The
Amazing Chateau With Level 1 students Hooked
City With Level 2 students
(No Transcript)
Teacher manuals
  • Outline the objectives of the CD-rom
  • Give background information on youth gambling
  • Present the content of every activity so that
    teachers are fully aware of their students
  • Provide a list of FAQs
  • Provide guidelines on how to facilitate classroom
    discussion following use of the game
  • Provide definitions of gambling-related terms

  • Two levels
  • Elementary The Amazing Chateau
  • Junior and secondary Hooked City
  • Self-administered but supervised by facilitator
    (teacher manual included)
  • Reinforces Information and education
  • Raising awareness in children and adolescents
    about the risks involved in gambling

  • Two types of activities
  • Gambling The player loses more than he wins
    and he is reinforced when quitting the activity
  • Skill The player receives accurate information
    on gambling and some attitudes and erroneous
    beliefs are challenged.
  • ? Protective factors

  • While most children and adolescents start
    gambling for fun, some end up with a serious
    gambling problem.
  • BE CAREFUL. This is an addictive pastime and you
    can get hooked before you know it. If you feel
    you must gamble from time to time, do it with
    moderation. Set limits, and respect those

(No Transcript)
Smart Choices pilot project Results from year 1
  • Rina Gupta, Ph.D.
  • McGill University
  • Pennsylvania 2010

Smart choices program
  • Implemented three prevention tools designed by
    child psychologists / researchers at the
    International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems
    and High-Risk behaviours.
  • A separate evaluation was performed for each of
    the three prevention programs
  • Youth gambling prevention awareness Level 1
  • Youth gambling prevention awareness Level 2
  • Hooked City

Youth gambling prevention awareness Level 1
  • Interactive Power Point presentation
  • Conducted by prevention specialist
  • Grades 4-7 is target audience for this prevention
  • Defines gambling, clarifies misconceptions,
    addresses concept of skill vs. chance driven
    activities, dispels myths associated with
    gambling, educates youth about the risks
    involved, and allows students to address their

Results Level 1
  • 5 groups of grade 5 children in three schools
  • 109 students received program but evaluation
    based on 90 total (due to absences or incomplete
  • Decrease in gambling rates from pre-test to
    post-test (unexpected in short time-frame)
  • Increase in knowledge and understanding of the
    roles of skill vs. luck, as well as randomness as
    they pertain to gambling
  • Increase in awareness that gambling can be
    problematic for youth
  • Concern sports wagering still viewed as
  • Concern Still view skilled VG player as being a
    skilled gambler as well (belief in transfer of
  • Overall effective (Repeated measure analysis)
  • (F 27.77, Plt.001)

Youth gambling prevention awareness Level 2
  • Interactive Power Point presentation
  • Conducted by prevention specialist
  • High School is target audience for this
    prevention tool
  • Informs about risks, promotes responsible play,
    addressed erroneous beliefs and cognitions
    pertaining to gambling, highlights consequences
    of gambling problems, and provides students an
    opportunity to discuss their gambling (or the
    play behaviours of their peers) in a safe and
    non-judgemental setting.

Results Level 2
  • 5 groups of grade 10 students (boys)
  • 126 students completed the program and 121 were
    present at post-test
  • In terms of gambling participation, only scratch
    card play showed a decrease
  • There was an increase in awareness of the role
    that chance plays in gambling activities
  • Concern There was only a marginal improvement
    for knowledge of the minor role skill plays in
    gambling activities, and there was a slight
    decrease in knowledge of independence of

Results Level 2 cont
  • On a more positive note, there were gains in
    understanding the risks of online gambling.
  • They also understood better that the house
    always holds an advantage
  • Concern Despite understanding that online
    practice sites offer higher win rates, they are
    still inclined to believe that they would win
    lots of money playing online.
  • There was no noticeable improvement on the
    understanding of the benefits of responsible play
    behaviours, although 70 of students endorsed the
    need to play responsibly from the outset.

Results Level 2- cont
  • The majority of youth understand that gambling is
    not an ideal way to make money
  • There was a noticeable reduction in erroneous
    cognitions pertaining to gambling
  • Most understood that problem gambling is defined
    by loss of control and not amount of money lost
  • Overall a repeated measures analysis found this
    project to be effective, F7.81, P .006)

Hooked City
  • Interactive computer game (CD-ROM)
  • Designed for high school students
  • Can be played alone or in groups
  • Addresses the risks associated with excessive
    gambling, dispels myths, and provides students
    with feedback about their knowledge and
    understanding of gambling and/ or problem

Results Hooked City
  • 39 boys and girls completed this program, ranging
    in age from 14-16
  • Sample size very small so results need to be
    interpreted with that in mind
  • General decrease in gambling behaviour was noted
  • Majority have a clear understanding of the
    definition of gambling
  • Tremendous improvement in understanding that
    poker is not solely skill driven
  • Decreased endorsement of poker as a good way to
    make money was found

Results Hooked City- cont
  • Very good improvements noticed for understanding
    of role of chance and luck, with less of a belief
    that they have control over gambling outcomes.
  • Increase in understanding of the complexity of
    problem gambling (not just about money lost)
  • This program was also found to show meaningful
    benefits. A repeated measures analysis concluded
    overall gains. F 22.84, plt.001

General Conclusions
  • Overall the three programs showed short-term
    gains overall
  • The greatest benefits were yielded with the
    Hooked City program for high school students
  • Primary school students benefitted very well from
    the power point Presentation
  • This pilot project has provided us with good
    direction for future application of these
    programs with youth in Pennsylvania

Year Two
  • The second year evaluation was based on the use
    of the 5-6 session model.
  • Level 1 incorporated both the power point
    presentation with Amazing Chateau
  • Level 2 incorporated both the power point
    presentation with Hooked City

Results Level 1
  • Summary
  • The combination of the Level 1 workshop and the
    Amazing Chateau interactive prevention program
    has resulted in a successful combination for
    these grade 7 students.
  • With respect to important findings, children
    continue to recognize that people can become
    addicted to gambling like drugs, they are well
    aware that a gambling problem can occur
    independent of one's socio-economic status, and
    in general understand that superstitious
    behaviors (e.g., praying, carrying a 'lucky'
    rabbits foot, etc.) do not improve one's chances
    of winning.
  • Children also left the Smart Choices program with
    a good understanding of the fact that gambling
    outcomes are usually out of their control, and
    that if they chose to gamble they should do so in
    moderation and set personal limits.

Results Level 2
  • This program was presented at two schools, with a
    total of 217 (102 males 115 females) youth in
    grade 8 (representing 10 groups from
    Wilkes-Barre) (N 179) and four groups from
    Philadelphia in grade 9 (N38) youth. The ages of
    the children ranged between 12-17, with 95 of
    the students being between ages 13-15, and 4.2
    being slightly older (ages 16-17).
  • Meaningful differences in knowledge, attitudes
    and cognitions were noted from pre-intervention
    to post-intervention. For example, an increase in
    awareness that picking winning lottery tickets is
    purely based on chance (75.1 at pre-intervention
    vs. 84.3 at post intervention), that there is a
    considerable amount of luck involved in playing
    poker (8.8 at pre-intervention vs. 12.9 at post
    intervention), and dice games (49.8 at
    pre-intervention vs. 69.6 at post intervention).

General Conclusions
  • While a number of differences were observed
    between the groups, there is little doubt that
    this brief intervention program as part of the
    Smarter Choices Program significantly enhances
    children's awareness about the risks associated
    with excessive gambling, helped reduce erroneous
    cognitions and misperceptions, and enhanced their
    knowledge about the risks associated with problem
    gambling. In addition to better understanding the
    risks, the students gained a better understanding
    of what it means to gamble responsibly.
  • This evaluation also highlights where
    modifications and continued discussions should be
    directed. The combination of the workshops and
    the interactive games yielded even stronger
    findings than when the programs are used alone
    (as compared to Year One). As accessibility and
    availability of gambling venues continue to grow
    in Pennsylvania, additional widespread youth
    intervention and awareness programs appear

Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania
Presented By Carl Robertson Council on Compulsive
Gambling of Pennsylvania www.smartchoices.cer_at_gma
Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania