NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spotlight on Research: Does Exposure to New Gambling Lead to Gambling Problems?

When states, provinces and local communities are considering introducing new forms of gambling, the “exposure” issue usually arises in public debates about the pros and cons of gambling. The conventional wisdom assumes that increased exposure to gambling opportunities will lead to an increase in the number of people with gambling-related problems. The validity of this assumption is usually unquestioned.

Alternatively, the “social adaption” model proposes that people exposed to new gambling opportunities may initially increase their gambling activities – whether with or without adverse consequences – but, eventually the population will adapt its behavior, leading to lower levels of gambling.

Until now, there have been few empirical studies to test this hypothesis. Dr. Robert Ladouceur, a professor of psychology at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, evaluated the impact of a new casino in Canada’s Hull, Quebec region. Ladouceur and co-author Christian Jacques, conducted a multi-year study on the gambling habits of individuals in that area. They surveyed participants one month before the casino opened, one year after its opening, and then again at the 2-year and 4-year mark. They found the results were surprising.

Ladouceur will discuss his research and its important implications for public health policy during the conference session Does Exposure to New Gambling Lead to Gambling Problems? A Case Study from Canada, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. To access Ladouceur’s full study click here, or visit the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders’ NCRG Conference Resource Page. When prompted, please enter the case-sensitive password: institute.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Welcome from your Conference Hosts

In less than one month’s time, more than 300 researchers, clinicians, regulators, policymakers and gaming industry representatives from all around the world will gather in Las Vegas at the 8th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. Together at this conference, these diverse groups will discuss the latest research about gambling and addiction, and consider how these findings can be adapted into real-world applications for prevention, treatment, education and responsible gaming.

We welcome you to this site and invite you to join us at the international conference, the only gathering of its kind in the U.S. that allows gaming industry and government representatives to engage in dialogue with the world’s leading scientific and clinical professionals.

The 2007 NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction will take place Nov. 11-13, at Paris Las Vegas. This event is sponsored by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) and 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.

The theme of this year’s conference, Responsible Gaming, Regulation and Recovery: Testing Conventional Wisdom, calls on attendees to test the “conventional wisdom” about gambling addiction and recovery using the most up-to-date science. Through such dialogue, we can develop more effective policies, regulations, responsible gaming programs and treatment for gambling addiction.

Over the coming weeks, the NCRG conference blog will preview of some of the research and trends that will be covered at the conference. While the conference is in progress, on-site reports will bring you up-to-the-minute details on some of our most compelling sessions and special events. Make sure you receive these updates by signing up for our RSS feed (select an icon in the Subscribe section of the sidebar) to have blog updates automatically delivered to you.

It’s not too late to register for this important event, so please be sure to join us. And if you can’t make it to Las Vegas, we look forward to having you visit us here on the conference blog in the coming weeks.

Phil Satre
Chairman, National Center for Responsible Gaming

Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S.
Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Director, Division on Addictions, The Cambridge Health Alliance

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