NCPG Salutes Leaders in Problem Gambling and Responsible Gaming With 2015 Awards

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Among Winners From Largest Ever Pool of Nominees are Two NCPG Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

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The National Council on Problem Gambling presented its 2015 Awards at the 29th National Conference on Problem Gambling.

Jim Pappas, Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, received the Monsignor Joseph Dunne Lifetime Award for Advocacy. This award is given only in exceptional circumstances in recognition of at least 20 years of dedication to improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families through advocacy, research, training, or the promotion of public awareness. Described as someone with the “compassion to help individuals in need at any time of the day, his leadership at the local, state and national level, and his 35 years of selfless service given to the field is truly remarkable,” Jim was also recognized as a pioneer in the development of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania and a determined advocate.

The Lifetime Research Award was given to Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance. The award honors a person for exceptional long-standing achievement in the field of research on problem gambling. The award is only bestowed in exceptional times and circumstances, to individuals who exemplify at least twenty years in the field. Howard’s publication history dates back to 1979 and now includes well over 200 chapters, journal articles and reviews. One supporter wrote: “I would be hard-pressed to name another comtemporary researcher in the problem gambling field who has made a greater contribution to the scholarly literature.”

The Jim Wuelfing Annual Award for Prevention was given to Liz McCall of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. The award recognizes outstanding annual achievement in advocacy, development, integration, outreach, research or training in the area of prevention of problem gambling. The nomination noted “Her work has an emphasis on reaching out to at-risk and underserved populations. She is a consistent and dependable partner in advancing prevention and problem gambling initiatives, and has unique and forward-thinking ideas which she pursues and brings back to partners and project participants.”

Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones was this year’s recipient of the annual Joanna Franklin Award for Direct Service. She is founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic in Fulham, London. In her nomination it was written: “Her work has made a massive difference to those suffering from problem gambling in Britain, for without her unique vision and mission no proper clinical services for gamblers would be available here at all.”

There were nine nominees for the Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Award this year, the largest number in our history. The award is given to an organization that a demonstrated outstanding commitment to social responsibility as it relates to problem gambling in the past year. This year’s winner was the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. BCLC developed the innovative GameSense materials, organizes the influential New Horizons responsible gaming conference and serves as leader in the field.

The Research of the Year Award went to Drs. Kahlil Philander and Terri-Lynn McKay for their paper on Online Gambling Participations and Problem Gambling Severity-Is There A Casual Relationship? Their paper was cited by the nominator in particular for “The use of a sophisticated method to control for the effects of other variables, such as socio-economic status, involvement in electronic commerce and physical health.”

“A Game Should Remain A Game” website created by the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling received the award for an outstanding website that has best raised public awareness of problem/pathological gambling. The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling and won the annual Media Award for their Twitter chat during Problem Gambling Awareness Month—in a one hour conversation they received more than 13,000 impressions. The North Carolina Education Lottery received the Newsletter Award for “Aiming for Responsible Gaming”, a semi-annual newsletter dedicated to responsible gaming. The Public Awareness Award was captured by the Maryland Center of Excellence and MedSchool Maryland Productions. The Hoosier Lottery won the Holiday Responsible Gaming Campaign Award for the best material prepared by a lottery in support of the Campaign.

Dr. Durand Jacobs Dissertation Award went to Dr. Jessica McBride. Her dissertation included an extensive survey of young people’s gambling and gaming activities to examine how certain forms of gaming activity are related to gambling. She recently completed her doctorate at McGill University.

Guillaume Paginer, a second year graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst received the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for The Relationships Between Personality, Arousal and the Illusion of Control in a Gambling Task, described as a “novel study that analyzes how an individual’s personality affects their physiological reaction to gambling.”

Amanda Burke, Kent State University, won the Excellence in Prevention Showcase Award. Maryland Smart Choices received the Prevention Showcase Best in Show award.

The People’s Choice Award, for the most popular print public awareness message as voted on by the attendees at the National Council on Problem Gambling conference, was Don’t Be Beaten By A Game, from the West Virginia Problem Gamblers Helpline Network, the 2nd year in a row they have won this award.

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Keith Whyte
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