Funded Research

The purpose of pre-commitment tools is to minimize gambling-related harms by cultivating responsible, positive gambling habits (e.g., setting a limit on expenditures before play, adherence to a pre-set limit should it be reached). However, operators have been challenged to spark interest in these tools as evidenced by disappointingly low uptake (only 1-10% of players use the RG tools provided by gambling operators). In the proposed program of research, we build on our previous findings that a hard lock option (where players cannot continue playing once their limit is reached) is more effective in reducing the number of visits and gambling expenditures over time compared to the standard, soft lock option (where players can continue playing after their limit is reached).

This project is funded by a grant from Pavilion Payments.

According to Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, who nominated Dr. Balodis and Ms. Querney for this award:

“Brain Connections is one of the most successful knowledge translation projects that I have ever seen. For instance, fourteen thousand people have visited the website and another thirteen thousand have seen the Driven to Gamble video on YouTube. It is easy to see the appeal. The Brain Connections material facilitates learning, is engaging, non-threatening, and accessible for a broad range of literacy levels.”                                                                                                                                       
It is rare for a scientist and clinician to collaborate at this level in order to create a knowledge translation project that teaches up-to-date science on the neurobiology of gambling disorder through a video that is engaging and accessible for a broad range of literacy levels.

The ICRG salutes Dr. Balodis and Ms. Querney for successful efforts to bridge the gap between science and practice.

The Scientific Achievement Award will be presented on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, at the Awards Luncheon during the ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction.

Selection Committee:

Tammy Chung, PhD                                                                                                                                                                                          Director, Center for Population Behavioral Health Professor of Psychiatry Rutgers
State University of New Jersey
Member, ICRG Scientific Advisory Board

James P. Whelan, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Director, Psychological Services Center
University of Memphis
2022 Recipient of the ICRG Scientific Achievement Award

Katherine Spilde, PhD, MBA
Endowed Chair, Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming Professor

L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
San Diego State University
Member, ICRG Board of Directors