May 5, 2008
WASHINGTON- The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) today announced the creation of a national task force to develop science-based campus gambling policies. The NCRG Task Force on College Gambling Policy will be comprised of representatives from colleges and universities across the country and be coordinated by the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program of the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
The task force will consider guidelines for various campus policies related to responsible gaming, including those that regulate student activities, athletics and health services, and make recommendations for ways to better communicate campus policies to parents and students. Final recommendations will be announced in 2009.
“NCRG-funded research has made a significant contribution to the growing pool of knowledge about gambling disorders and the types of programs that promote responsible gambling behaviors. This task force can build on this knowledge by translating research into real-world programs that can help students avoid gambling-related problems,” said Phil Satre, NCRG chairman.
According to Christine Reilly, executive director of the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, the colleges and universities represented on the task force have demonstrated not only their awareness of the potential for gambling-related problems among the student population, but the need to address the issue. All of these institutions already have some kind of gambling policy in place. Task force members come from geographically diverse institutions and reflect a cross section of disciplines. Members of the task force include:
The college gambling initiative addresses the findings of an NCRG-funded study of gambling and alcohol policies at U.S. colleges and universities. Conducted by Howard Shaffer and colleagues at the Division on Addictions in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, the study showed that 42 percent of students in the sample reported having gambled during the past year. Yet, while all schools in the study had a student alcohol policy, only about 22 percent of those sampled had a gambling policy.
“Advancements in research have given us a greater understanding of gambling and other risky behaviors among college students, and we are fortunate to be working with individuals who can help us turn this research into practical policies that address gambling issues on campus,” Reilly said. “This is a unique opportunity to develop science-based standards for policies that not only address campus gambling activities, but ultimately prevent and reduce gambling-related harms.”
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the NCRG's mission is to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders by supporting the finest peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathological and youth gambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education about responsible gaming. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association's (AGA) affiliated charity. For more information, visitwww.ncrg.org.
The NCRG supports cutting-edge research on gambling disorders through the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, visitwww.divisiononaddictions.org/institute.