Martin Lycka welcomes Art Paikowsky, President of the International Centre for Responsible Gambling to discuss Art’s experience with the ICRG, formerly the NCRG, including growing the organisation, and their work and research in the United States and now beyond over the last 25 years.

Martin and Art also discuss Art’s fundraising experience and the challenges charities face in this area, advertising in the industry, how new technologies impact combating gambling harms and much more.

The International Center for Responsible Gambling and Betblocker Tuesday received £20,500 each during a donation ceremony at ICE London’s Consumer Protection Zone. The funds were raised with the help of Light & Wonder, Flutter, the Betsson Group, IGT, Novomatic, Neccton, and Playtech.

“We are really pleased to have raised more than £225,000 over the last four years, with £41,100 coming from seven donors this year,” said Clarion Gaming Director of Industry Insight and Engagement Ewa Bakun following the ceremony. “It’s very rewarding to be able to use ICE 2024 as a platform to support the important activities these charities carry out and to promote the commitment of the industry through the Consumer Protection Zone. I can only hope we can continue this effort next year and raise even more for such deserving charities.”

Betblocker Founder and Trustee Duncan Garvie said he had no idea his organization was being considered for the donation.

“The money is a big help and will contribute massively towards the development of a new timer feature we’re hoping to implement,” Garvie said. “As a charity, we’re always working hard to get funding through the door, but almost as important as the money is the exposure. Having ICE champion Betblocker, providing us with a stand, is a huge profile lift for us.”

ICRG President Arthur Paikowsky also accepted an award as Clarion Gaming’s Charity of the Year at the ceremony.

“It was an honor to be named Charity of the Year, but it was still a big surprise to receive this donation of £20,500 and a great way to start our 25th-anniversary year,” Paikowsky said, noting the organization currently has 27 different studies underway and a major sports wagering behavior report due by the end of the 2nd quarter 2024. “The most recent study we’ve launched is with Harvard Medical and today’s donation will help us fund more research with some of the best investigators in this field. When you’re a small organization like ours, £20,500 is very meaningful money.”

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.

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Article by Casino Life Magazine

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In November Clarion Gaming confirmed the selection of US-based International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) as its new Charity Partner following applications received from a total of 24 not for profit organisations active in the safer gambling space.

Established in 1996 ICRG has provided independent, peer-reviewed research to help increase the understanding of gambling harms and find effective methods of mitigation. Work undertaken by the ICRG is impacting public policy and strengthening responsible gambling. As ICE opens its doors to the world of gaming, the ICRG’s Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communications, Nicole Scott explains what the partnership means.

Q: What does it mean to be named Clarion Gaming Charity Partner of the year and how will you be using ICE to promote the organisation?

“Being named Clarion Gaming Charity Partner of the Year is a tremendous honor and a testament to our dedicated efforts over the past 25 years. This award acknowledges our consistent effort in using evidence-based research to reduce harm to gamblers. At ICE, our President, Art Paikowsky, will chair the program at the consumer protection zone and be a panellist during one of the sessions. This event provides Art with excellent networking opportunities, starting from the opening reception on Tuesday evening. He will also appear on several broadcasts during the conference.”

Q: Have you set yourself some key objectives as a result of the relationship with Clarion Gaming and what does success look like?

“Our collaboration with Clarion Gaming focuses on achieving key objectives that reflect our shared vision. Success in this venture means making meaningful strides in promoting responsible gaming practices and creating a better understanding of the consistent quality of our research and the educational efforts we deploy to advance critical findings. These efforts aim to benefit the industry and the wider community, creating a ripple effect of positive change and responsible conduct across the sector.”

Q: Will this be your first appearance at ICE and what are your perceptions of the event/what are you expecting?

“While this won’t be our first appearance at ICE, our enthusiasm remains as high as ever. ICE is a premier platform for networking, sharing insights, and keeping abreast of industry trends. We anticipate encountering innovative technologies, engaging in thought-provoking discussions, and forging partnerships that align with and enhance our mission. These interactions are vital for guiding our initiatives and broadening our impact. Attendees need to realize the critical role of our peer-reviewed, scientifically valid research in shaping sustainable industry practices.”

Q: What’s the next big piece of research that you will be publishing?

“To better understand the role of ICRG, we create a pool of resources designed to support the work of investigators committed to a better understanding of gambling disorder and gambling problems. A separate Scientific Advisory Board oversees research funding decisions. This firewall precludes any concerns about the integrity of the research. The investigators are responsible for ensuring that the study findings are published. One of our studies on sports wagering, expected to conclude in early 2024, is attracting considerable interest due to its potential impact on our understanding of safe gambling practices.”

Q: How important is it that gambling legislation is evidence-based as opposed to being politically motivated?

“Advocating for evidence-based gambling legislation is a cornerstone of our approach. Such policies, grounded in empirical data and thorough research, lead to more effective and balanced regulatory frameworks. This approach serves the best interests of all stakeholders and plays a crucial role in creating a safer, more responsible gambling environment. It’s a stride towards ensuring that decision-making is informed, fair, and conducive to long-term positive outcomes. Further, much of what is presented as research needs to follow the necessary rigors and be published, so maintaining the highest standards, a hallmark of ICRG-funded research, is especially important.”

Q: In 2018 ICE made history when in it became the first trade expo to feature a Consumer Protection Zone – how significant is it for a gambling expo to have an area dedicated to safer gambling?

“The Consumer Protection Zone at ICE is a pivotal initiative in promoting safer gambling practices. It symbolizes the industry’s commitment to protecting vulnerable individuals and underscores the importance of responsible gaming. This dedicated space is more than just a feature of the event; It is critically important to promote this space and ensure that we are not preaching to the choir. Key informants in the C suite should be encouraged to come by to learn about the innovations in responsible gaming practices.”

BEVERLY, MASS. — March 22, 2023—We’re excited to announce that the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) has been honored as Clarion Gaming’s Charity Partner from November 2023 to October 2024. This prestigious recognition was unveiled during the UK’s Safer Gambling Week, highlighting our organization among 24 distinguished not-for-profit entities in the safer gambling arena.

Andy Ventris, the ICE London Event Director at Clarion Gaming, praised the ICRG’s unwavering commitment to helping those affected by gambling disorders and our proactive approach to preventing gambling problems. ICRG’s dedication to conducting high-quality, independent research and providing evidence-based educational programs in gambling disorder and responsible gambling was key in securing this partnership with Clarion Gaming.

This partnership isn’t just a token of recognition—it’s a gateway to amplify our impact. We’re set to play a significant role at ICE 2024, with our President, Art Paikowski, opening the Consumer Protection Zone and Donation Ceremony. Moreover, ICRG’s presence will extend through Clarion Gaming’s influential content platforms, allowing us to broaden our reach and engage with key international stakeholders.

Art expressed his heartfelt appreciation for this development. He sees it as a significant milestone that reflects our team’s dedication and tireless efforts in championing responsible gambling initiatives. This partnership marks a collaborative stride forward, enabling both ICRG and Clarion Gaming to impact the responsible gambling landscape substantially.

# # # # #

About ICRG

The ICRG, founded in 1996, continues to serve as the only funding source for scientific research on gambling disorder and responsible gambling in the United States. It has yielded nearly 500 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has recently become a global leader. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Nicole Scott, Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communication
Phone: 978-338-6610
900 Cummings Center, suite 219-U
Beverly, MA 01915

By Marjorie Preston

“One to 2 percent.

Statistically speaking, the numbers seem negligible. But for anyone who meets the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder (an estimated 2 million to 4 million people, or up to 2 percent of U.S. adults), the condition can be destructive, life-altering and even life-threatening, increasing the risk for self-harm including suicide.

Symptoms include an irresistible urge to gamble, with increasingly high stakes; restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut back or stop; using gambling to cope with guilt, anxiety or depression; and chasing losses.

A number of agencies are working to unravel the mysteries of the baffling disorder. There’s the usual alphabet soup of acronyms, including the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), as well as state-based organizations and support groups like Gamblers Anonymous.

But the biggest player of all—the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—is sitting this one out.

Ten years ago, gambling disorder became the first behavioral (non-substance) addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Yet the U.S. government (which this year earmarked $43 billion for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse) “hasn’t allocated one penny” for problem gambling, says Felicia Grondin, executive director of the nonprofit Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ).

That’s left states and casino operators to pick up the tab. The New Jersey council, which offers public education, professional training and referrals for problem gamblers, is funded by the state through casinos and online gaming licensees.

While the money is essential and welcome, it’s not close to enough, says Grondin. “In 2021, New Jersey ranked No. 3 in the country for gross gaming revenue, but dropped to No. 19 of the 42 states that allocate funds to problem gambling, treatment and prevention.”

That year, New Jersey’s per-capita investment was “34 cents a person.” Despite limited resources, says Grondin, “we just have to keep on hammering our message and getting it out there.”

The Only Game in Town

The industry’s role in funding interventions sometimes meets with skepticism, with critics suggesting that casino-funded research must be biased. ICRG board members include representatives of Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. NCPG contributors include Caesars, Las Vegas Sands, the NFL, FanDuel and Mohegan Gaming.

But James P. Whelan defends the integrity of the research. The director of the Tennessee Institute for Gambling Education and Research (TIGER), which receives ICRG funding, says industry donors “have a voice in saying what questions are important from their perspective, but they don’t drive the research agenda.”

Without ICRG funds, he adds, “we wouldn’t be able to ask the questions we’re asking. It’s not NIH money by any stretch, but there’s no other vehicle for doing it, because the federal government is silent here.”

Christine Reilly, the ICRG’s secretary, treasurer and senior research director, says independent peer reviewers and the organization’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) evaluate all proposals, with the latter making the final decisions on grant funding.

“Neither the governing board nor the donors have any say or influence about what ICRG supports,” Reilly says. “This structure makes it possible for us to focus solely on merit when reviewing and selecting grant projects.”

Recently, Ted Hartwell was named executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling. A recovering gambling addict, Hartwell acknowledges that most research done in the field is funded by the IGRC, with an assist from the industry.

“There’s a pretty good firewall between the origin and the dollars, and the science has been fantastic for the most part,” Hartwell says. “The reason we know gambling is an addictive disorder is because of the contributions of the industry to that process.”

Over the years, the ICRG (which originated as a national body in 1996) has invested more than $31 million in research and public programs, such as educational materials for parents and teachers, an online intervention for college gamblers, and a screening test that can be used by health professionals and individuals to determine if a gambling problem exists.

The Washington, D.C.-based NCPG is looking to shape national policy on the subject. Founded in 1972, the nonprofit—which is neither for nor against legal gambling—also provides education to federal, state, tribal and international governments and agencies.

The NCPG is also behind the 1-800-GAMBLER network, which became the national helpline number in June 2022, and the annual National Conference on Problem Gambling.

Growing Problem, Growing Awareness, or Both?

In a 2021 survey, the NCPG asked 2,000 adults about their gambling habits. The survey showed that, from 2018 to 2021, an additional 26 million people were betting online, and there were also 15.3 million more sports bettors (that growth occurred as legal sports betting got off the ground and iGaming increased, and also included the pandemic years of 2020-21).

New Jersey saw an astonishing 870 percent increase in online and sports betting revenue between 2018 and 2022, which Grondin attributes in part to advertising. In 2020, operators spent $292 million on TV ads alone. A year later, that figure had soared to $725 million.

“You see gambling ads every single day,” especially for sports betting and online betting, Grondin says. “We’re bombarded on billboards, radio and television. And the more revenue that’s generated, the more calls we get.”

That could indicate a spike in problem gambling. But it could also mean greater awareness that’s leading more gamblers to seek help. “Traditionally, the introduction of new options to gamble results in a temporary increase that abates over time,” says Whelan. When it comes to sports betting and iGaming, “I don’t think the sky is falling, but we need a national study to really evaluate.”

Reilly adds, “Every new form of technology—for example, automobiles, television—raises concerns about risks to public health, and online gambling is no exception. But we need evidence to prove one way or another about the potential harms.”

Along with more legal betting options and operators’ hard sell, the sheer accessibility of gambling is cause for concern. “We’ve gone from a culture where used to have to take a trip to gamble to making a drive to gamble to now just reaching for the phone,” says Whelan.

“If you’re on a sports wagering app, they’re going to offer you bets throughout a competition—parlays within a game, live bets throughout the game, prop bets. And we know that heavy advertising impacts those who are already having problems.”

As Hartwell notes, an increase in helpline calls “doesn’t automatically translate to more people in trouble. They’re now just finding out, ‘Oh, there’s help for this thing I’m experiencing.’

“The good thing is that those advertisements now usually come with 800-GAMBLER prominently featured. Having a national helpline number is huge—it’s immediately recognizable and memorable.”

Time for Washington to Intervene?

The lack of hard data about gambling disorder could be hampering national action on the issue; so could that “1 percent” statistic (some sources believe the percentage of afflicted gamblers is higher).

“Besides, if it’s 1 percent of the population, we’re still talking about millions of people,” says Whelan. “Are harms increasing? I don’t know. No one’s going to know unless we’re able to study it, and the lack of federal dollars doesn’t allow us to ask this question with great integrity.

“The current appetite at the federal level is to leave things to the states. Also, the NIH doesn’t have a natural mechanism for funding this research. It has institutes that were created for problems like drugs and alcohol, but not for addictions in general. So gambling and other non-substance use addictions don’t really have a home or a voice at that level.”

That may be in the pipeline. According to the NCPG website, the proposed Gambling Addiction Recovery, Investment and Treatment Act (GRIT) would set aside half of the federal sports excise tax revenue for gambling addiction treatment and research. Of that, 75 percent would be distributed to the states for gambling addiction prevention and treatment through the existing Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program.

Cole Wogoman, the NCPG’s government relations manager, says the legislation will be introduced by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, “likely by the end of the year but perhaps in January.”

“Oh, it definitely needs to happen,” says Whelan. “Our ability to ask the big important questions, gaining precision and knowledge about what treatments work for whom, requires the level of funding that only the federal government can provide.”

In the late 1990s, Nevada researchers developed what they called “Science-based Framework for Responsible Gambling: The Reno Model.” The paper, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies in 2004, emphasized personal responsibility as a cornerstone of responsible gaming, adding that consumers must be informed of the risks.

According to the ICRG website, the authors called on “health providers, scientists, the gaming industry, elected officials, regulators, community organizers and consumers, to unite and address gambling-related issues.” Even so, the Reno Model clashed with later thinking that emphasized “gambling operator duty of care and consumer protection.”

‘The Three-Legged Stool’

Hartwell believes it’s a shared responsibility. “We need to put more of the onus both on industry and government to provide that framework, so people know what they’re dealing with. Then we can expect them to take more personal responsibility. It does need to be all three legs of the stool.”

He also believes it’s possible to “pull people back into healthier behavior before they develop an addictive disorder,” thereby creating a sustainable player base.

“I’m a prime example of someone for whom (gambling disorder) was chronic and progressive over time. But I don’t know that would have been the case if we’d caught it earlier or if I’d been more aware of some of the warning signs. Long-term player sustainability starts with not marketing directly to people who have or could have problems.”

He supports using player data used for marketing to send responsible-gaming messages: “‘Hey, Mr. Johnson, thanks for being a loyal customer. Over the past five years, your average spend with us has been this level, and in the past three months it’s been up here. We just wanted to reach out, make sure everything’s OK.’

“There’s some evidence that proactive, individualized messages can pull people back into more sustainable behavior. Maybe (operators can) reward people who use RG tools, offering them an incentive for doing that.”

If existing organizations come into a windfall from Washington, they could do a deeper dive into the causes of gambling disorder, develop better solutions, enhance current programs and add new ones. Grondin wants to see public service announcements, “Like, ‘This is your brain on drugs.’ There’s nothing like that right now.

“We also support advertising restrictions,” like those developed in the U.K. and European Union. “We’re working on warning-label language indicating that gambling is risky, can become addictive and can lead to catastrophic life consequences. But there has to be more funding.”

Hartwell wants to build more youth awareness. “This is where the behavior starts. Ultimately responsible gambling awareness should start in education, identifying people who may be transitioning into a gambling problem to proactively message to pull them back into healthier behavior before it becomes a true disorder. There’s some research that suggests it can be done. It’s just a matter of having the political will and the fiscal resources to pull off those types of studies.”

He calls the GRIT Act “a no-brainer. It allocates monies that are already being collected by the federal government, but have never gone to anything related to gambling.”

Whelan also supports federal intervention as well as ongoing support from the gaming industry. “The industry and government regulators need to understand their social responsibilities when it comes to people who experience gambling harms.

“They don’t like me when I say this, but they don’t want to be the tobacco industry.” Meanwhile, he adds, “I think they’re doing the right thing.”

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BEVERLY, MASS—October 25, 2023 –Bally’s Corporation has set a groundbreaking record as the largest donor over two years by contributing over $1.05 million to the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG). This generous donation underscores Bally’s commitment to advancing responsible gambling initiatives and addressing health risks associated with young adult gambling.

ICRG proudly announces the allocation of two significant research grants, made possible by Bally’s support, aimed at enhancing responsible gambling strategies and gaining a deeper understanding of the health challenges faced by young adult gamblers.

  1. The Center of Excellence in Gambling Research – University of Sydney, Australia ($402,500 Grant): With Bally’s funding, this project focuses on responsible gambling programs to prevent gambling-related problems. A key objective is to boost the utilization of responsible gambling tools provided by gambling operators, ultimately promoting healthier gambling practices.
  2. Research on Young Adult Sports Wagering – University of Washington ($172,500 Grant): Young adults aged 18-26 are particularly vulnerable to gambling and other risky behaviors. The research funded by this grant will provide insights crucial for tailoring responsible gambling strategies to this age group, effectively mitigating their risks.

Bally’s additional contribution of $450,000 aims to revamp responsible gambling communications, ensuring they are more engaging and informative, similar to how addiction treatment guidelines have evolved to eliminate stigmatizing language and foster better engagement.

ICRG invites scientists to participate in this initiative, striving to develop concise guidelines for operators that will enhance their responsible gambling staff and marketing strategies. The ultimate goal is to create a more positive and effective approach to responsible gambling, encouraging greater tool utilization and fostering healthier gambling practices.

Bally’s Corporation’s outstanding commitment and generosity are significantly impacting the responsible gambling landscape, reinforcing the importance of collaborative efforts to ensure a safer and more responsible gambling environment.

# # #

About ICRG

The ICRG, founded in 1996, continues to serve as the only funding source for scientific research on gambling disorder and responsible gambling in the United States, yielding nearly 500 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Recently, it has become a global leader in the field. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Nicole Scott


Please find attached a photograph of Bally’s presenting a substantial contribution to the International Center for Responsible Gaming during the 24th ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. This event was held in conjunction with G2E in Las Vegas on October 9th.

In the image, you can see the following individuals from left to right:

Tammi Barlow, Bally’s Vice President of Global Responsibility & Social Impact
Kim Barker, Bally’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Wanda Wilson, Bally’s Board Member
Mark Lipparelli, Chairman of ICRG
Tracy Harris, Bally’s Board Member
Arthur Paikowsky, President of ICRG
Alan M. Feldman, Chair Emeritus of ICRG
Michael Soll, Board Member of ICRG
Kathy Scanlan, Board Member of ICRG

The International Center for Responsible Gambling (ICRG) proudly announces that Nicole Scott has joined the organization as its new Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communications. In this role, Scott will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with tribal communities and organizations and overseeing all communications and outreach efforts for the ICRG.

Scott brings extensive experience in the gaming industry and a strong commitment to responsible gambling practices. Prior to joining the ICRG, she served as a consultant to tribal governments and casinos.

“We are excited to welcome Nicole to our team,” said Art Paikowsky, President of ICRG. “Her extensive experience in tribal relations and communications makes her a perfect fit for our organization. We are confident that she will be an asset in advancing our mission of funding research to mitigate potential harms to players and promoting responsible gambling practices.”

Scott expressed her excitement at joining the ICRG and working with a team of passionate professionals. “The organization has a strong commitment to responsible gambling practices,” she said, “and I look forward to working with tribal communities and organizations to promote these practices.”

Scott’s appointment comes at a time when responsible gambling practices are becoming increasingly important in the gaming industry. As more and more states in the U.S. legalize sports betting and other forms of gambling, there is a growing need for organizations like the ICRG to fund research to promote safe gambling practices.

# # # # #

About ICRG

The ICRG is the global leader in scientific research on gambling disorder and responsible gaming. It is supported by gambling operators and related manufacturers and businesses. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Nicole Scott, Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communication



Phone: 978-338-6610

900 Cummings Center, suite 219-U

Beverly, MA 01915