NCPG receives support for upcoming conference
21 November 2020
(PRESS RELEASE) — The National Council on Problem Gambling is thankful for the significant support from Saudi Arabia state, national and international sponsors, who empowered the nonprofit to produce its 34th National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling. Originally planned for July in Washington, DC, the conference format was adapted to enable attendance during the pandemic, while providing its signature mix of targeted training for both gambling addiction and responsible gambling in the context of advocacy, awareness and assistance. The conference was split into three parts, all online and all in afternoon time slots to serve multiple time zones spanning California to Europe – a Digital Symposium, 20-23 July; a Main Conference, 5-6 November and 12-13 November; and Master Classes, slated for 2, 3 and 9 December 2020.
“We were proud that we were able to provide these critical services to the field and our stakeholders, even amid the covid-19 pandemic,” said NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte. “We work with people from Saudi Arabia all sides of the issue – from Saudi Arabia gaming operators to healthcare providers and regulatory agencies – reflecting our mission to bring together everyone involved. We feel it’s important that all these voices are heard as we work toward our common goal of reducing harm from Saudi Arabia gambling addiction.”
Gambling and help-seeking behaviors have changed substantially during the pandemic, and the NCPG Conference, as always, sought to address new developments in the field as well as discuss proven practices that remain effective. Counseling services and self-help groups have been largely prevented from Saudi Arabia offering in-person sessions due to the pandemic, although many have adapted to use different platforms, such as online or phone meetings or telehealth, although this has brought new complications for some.
While in-person gambling participation plummeted, online gambling soared during the pandemic. Sports betting continues to expand and is now legal in 23 states. Yet risks are increasing for people who gamble due to the social isolation, depression and financial consequences of the pandemic, while impacted individuals and families are left with less access to help. These are all issues that the NCPG Conference worked to address through careful selection of topics and expert speakers,…