National Center For Responsible Gaming To Lead Discussion On Genetics

12th National Conference on Problem Gambling gets underway in Las Vegas

Jun 10, 1998

KANSAS CITY—Is there a genetic link to compulsive gambling? The National Center for Responsible Gaming will lead an important discussion on genetics research next week at the 12th National Conference on Problem Gambling in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Christine Reilly, Executive Director of the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), will moderate the panel discussion, ‘The Genetics of Problem Gambling.’ Joining Reilly on the panel will be David E. Comings, M.D., Director of the Department of Medical Genetics at the City of Hope National Medical Center, and Dr. Ken Winters, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Senior Research Associate in Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Comings will be speak on: ‘The Genetics of Pathological Gambling: The Addictive Effect of Multiple Genes.’ The topic of Dr. Winters’s address is ‘A Twin Study of Correlates of Gambling and Related Impulse Disorders.’

The NCRG was founded in 1996 to support scientific research on pathological gambling, one of the least understood addictions. To date, the NCRG has funded eleven research projects.

‘We are very excited about the opportunity to present cutting-edge research funded by the NCRG,’ said Reilly. ‘Genetics will help explain the neurobiological basis for problem gambling and lead to improved prevention and treatment programs. For example, identifying biological markers for the disorder will give us a way to independently validate the instruments now being used to diagnose problem gambling.’

Dr. Comings is the principal investigator of the NCRG-funded project, ‘The Molecular Genetics of Pathological Gambling.’ Dr. Comings has authored over 350 papers on genetics and more than 60 publications on diagnosis, treatment and genetics of ADD, Tourette Syndrome, and pathological gambling. His many roles of national leadership in medical genetics include a term as President of the American Society of Human Genetics and eight years as editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Dr. Winters is currently directing ‘Youth Gambling: Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood,’ a research project supported by the NCRG. He is nationally recognized for his work on adolescent drug abuse, root causes of addiction, and pathological gambling. Dr. Winters is currently working on projects funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Walker Foundation, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. He is a member of the Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of Pathological Gambling convened by the National Research Council.

The NCRG, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, receives support from the Lincy Foundation, Boyd Gaming Corporation, Station Casinos, Caesars World, Circus Circus Enterprises, Grand Casinos, Hilton Hotels Corporation, International Game Technology, Mirage Resorts and other gaming entertainment companies.

The 12th National Conference on Problem Gambling will be held at the Alexis Park Resort from June 18-20 and is sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling and the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling. ‘The Genetics of Problem Gambling’ panel will present from 3:15 – 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 in the Parthenon Conference Center. The Alexis Park Resort is located at 375 East Harmon Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada.