“21 Is A Must” – Colorado Youth Educate Peers About Responsible Gaming

This March, the Problem Gambling Council of Colorado (PGCC) and the Colorado Lottery joined forces to help students showcase their creativity and educate the community about gambling disorders and responsible gaming through the first “21 is a Must” scholarship contest. High school and college students from across the state were invited to create a poster educating youth about the age requirement for gambling and the warning signs of problem gambling. Entrants competed for two scholarships: the first-place winner received a $2,000 award and the runner-up was awarded $1,000.

“The creativity, originality, content and style of the entries exceeded our expectations, as did the educational value of the submissions,” said Lois Rice, PGCC board member and executive director of the Colorado Gaming Association. “The excellence of these entries made it extremely difficult to select a winner.”

While only in its first year, 14 students entered the contest, and the first-place scholarship went to Hannah Byerly from Trinidad State Junior College; Kelly Carter from Colorado State University received the second place scholarship. Byerly’s entry included a student who was standing on the side of the road, with a sign stating “Don’t Bet Your Future.” “When adolescents are making the choice to gamble underage, they are betting more than they think,” Byerly said.

The winning posters were reproduced and distributed in educational marketing materials throughout Colorado during the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) from July 30 – Aug. 3. This annual event was created by the AGA to promote the industry’s ongoing efforts to educate employees, patrons and the public about responsible gaming. It also provides gaming companies and problem gambling associations across the country with an opportunity to expand their existing efforts to address the issues of underage and problem gaming.

‘We work diligently with our partners in the gaming community to constantly reinforce the age requirements for participating in gaming activities and to educate the public about problem gambling,” said Matt Robbins, Community Relations Specialist for the Colorado Lottery and PGCC Board member. “The poster contest is a great way to engage young people in this effort, and we’re proud to be involved. Given the success of this year’s program, we look forward to next year’s contest.”

This article was originally published in the summer 2012 edition of Responsible Gaming Quarterly. To read or download a full copy of this issue, you can visit theNCRG website.

NCRG staffResponsible GamingColoradoeffortsgambling disordersResponsible Gaming Quarterly