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June 18, 2019

Regional Conference on Addiction Convenes for 16th Year

The Hilton Kansas City Airport is the site of the 16th annual Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse, taking place from June 19-21.  This year’s theme, “Reflections and Destinations,” encompasses a universal goal shared by all healthcare providers in their commitment to improving the health and well-being of the people and communities they serve.  A look back to what began as a training opportunity in 2003 has evolved into a conference focused on bringing the most current knowledge, research, policy, best practice, and treatment protocol for problem gambling and substance use disorders to professionals in the Midwest. 

“We are still in the midst of a nationwide opioid crisis, we are just beginning to understand the impact of gaming on our youth and young adults, and states are legalizing sports betting at record rates,” said Carol Spiker, president of the Midwest Consortium on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse.   “Although we have great understanding for addiction, the ever-evolving public health challenges we encounter daily keep us searching for more effective ways in which to address addiction and move individuals and families into recovery.  This year’s conference hopes to provide our attendees with the tools and resources they need when faced with these challenges,” said Spiker.

The Midwest Consortium represents a five-state region – Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma – but attendees from across the country and internationally both present at and attend the conference each year.  For a complete list of workshop sessions, presenters and conference information, visit



March 1, 2019

Missouri Contributes 'Awareness + Action' to Nationwide Effort

Marking its 15th year, the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling is proud to continue its support of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Problem Gambling Awareness Month. 

Unlike a substance use disorder, problem gambling shows limited outward signs or physical symptoms, causing it to commonly be referred to as a “hidden addiction.” Yet, problem gambling can have significant negative mental, social and financial impacts on the lives of those afflicted and their loved ones. According to the National Council, approximately 2 million of U.S. adults meet the criteria for pathological gambling, while another 4-6 million are considered problem gamblers.

“Anyone who gambles has the potential of developing a problem, regardless of how often they participate,” said Mark Rembecki, interim chair of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling. “There are options for free treatment available here in Missouri.”

Problem gambling is defined, in part, as an increasing preoccupation with gambling despite any mounting negative consequences. Similar to other types of addiction, problem gambling is a progressive addiction characterized by a need to bet more money more frequently, “chasing losses,” and a loss of control. 

“The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services,” said Rembecki. “To do so, Alliance members are running TV, radio and social media campaigns and hosting training sessions across the state. Our hope is to educate Missourians about the signs of a gambling problem and the availability of free treatment through the 1-888-BETSOFF service.” 

To access free help from licensed professionals, please call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), email or visit The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery both offer their own voluntary, self-exclusion lists for problem gamblers. More information about problem gambling concerns and responsible gaming can be found at and

December 20, 2018

Missouri Lottery Achieves Highest Industry Distinction for Responsibility

            The Missouri Lottery’s dedication to integrity and responsible gaming has received international recognition through the World Lottery Association (WLA). A Level 4 certification under the WLA’s Responsible Gaming Framework signifies a categorical integration of responsibility practices at all levels of an organization and a commitment to continuous improvement. The Missouri Lottery is one of eight United States lotteries to receive a Level 4 accreditation.

            “The integrity of our organization is vital to our success, and this certification validates our efforts,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. “The Lottery has generated billions of dollars for public education, and I’m proud to say that we have done so responsibly.”

            With a Level 1 certification bestowed with a WLA membership, the Lottery formalized its devotion by successfully pursuing certifications for Level 2 in 2013 and Level 3 in 2015. To achieve the Level 4 distinction, the WLA’s independent panel of corporate social responsibility experts evaluated the Lottery’s responsible gaming and corporate social responsibility efforts based on 10 core business functions.

In its assessment review of the Lottery’s Level 4 submission, the WLA commended the Lottery for an overall program improvement in the three years since its last certification and a “clear management commitment and sufficient allocated resources.”

“We have always viewed a Level 4 certification as a capable goal. So much so that we included the pursuit of this certification in our two most recent strategic plans,” said Reardon. “This process has challenged us to improve our efforts, and I believe that we are more prepared to serve our stakeholders because of this experience.”

Some of the program improvements pursued in preparation for this certification include:

The Lottery’s certification is valid until December 2021, when it must recertify its program with the WLA. For more information about the Lottery’s responsible gaming program, visit Individuals struggling with a gambling problem and their loved ones are encouraged to contact 1-888-BETSOFF to access free help.

December 13, 2018

2019 Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling

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The 2019 Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling, "Reflections and Destinations," will be held at the Hilton Kansas City Airport, 8801 N.W. 112th St. in Kansas City, from June 19 through June 21. Hotel reservations can be made here.

The online Call for Proposal (CFP) form is now available. Simply click on the link below and read through the information regarding the submission criteria, information requested and evaluation process. Once you have all of your information ready, proceed with the process of submitting your CFP information online. You will receive an email confirmation. All submissions are due by Feb. 1, 2019.
Call for Proposal

The Midwest Consortium on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse relies solely on contributions from its sponsors to successfully host the annual Midwest Conference. Sponsorship options for the 2019 Conference have been restructured, allowing supporters to pick sponsorship options that best serve their business goals. All sponsorship levels include an array of benefits designed to increase your organization’s visibility and interactions with Conference attendees and presenters.

To Review Sponsorship Options - Click here
To Register As A Sponsor - Click here

For questions about the conference, please contact Nicolas Foss at

August 8, 2018

Play Responsibly When Playing Games of Chance

            In support of Missouri’s Responsible Gaming Education Month, the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling encourages Missouri citizens to play responsibly to prevent the development of a gambling problem. Introduced in 2003, Missouri’s month-long initiative aims to inform the public on the variety of ways to gamble responsibly.

“While we want anyone who chooses to gamble to exercise good judgment all year long, we want to highlight the many strategies Missourians can use to keep games of chance just games,” said Mark Rembecki, interim Missouri Alliance Chairperson.

“Missourians who enjoy recreational gambling can do so responsibly by setting time and budget limits, never borrowing money to gamble and including other forms of entertainment in their daily lives,” Rembecki explained.

In support of the campaign, Missouri gaming providers are conducting employee training sessions in addition to onsite public educational events. The Missouri Alliance is also airing its new “Don’t Let Gambling Break You” TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) throughout the month.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2-3 percent of the United States’ population exhibits signs of having a gambling problem.

“Above all else, we want people to know that the 1-888-BETSOFF program exists to help connect people who are struggling with resources,” Rembecki said. “Anybody who thinks they have a gambling problem, or thinks they know someone with a gambling problem, is encouraged to call the free helpline for information on the resources available to them.”

To access free help from licensed professionals, please call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), email, or visit The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery both offer their own voluntary, self-exclusion lists for problem gamblers. More information about problem gambling concerns and responsible gaming can be found at, and

March 2, 2018

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

The Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling is once again supporting a nationwide initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the “silent addiction.” Currently in its 14th year, National Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an initiative created by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).

“The primary goal of the campaign is to encourage anyone who knows someone that might be suffering from gambling addiction to ‘Have the Conversation,’” said Susan Goedde, chair of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling and communications manager for the Missouri Lottery.

According to the NCPG, approximately 2-3 percent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. Recent results from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service’s 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) found that less than 1 percent of Missourian’s who participate in gambling activities exhibit signs of having a problem.

“We want everyone to know that free help is available, especially those who have a gambling problem or loved ones of a problem gambler,” said Goedde. “Accessing professional help through the 1-888-BETSOFF helpline is easy and confidential.”

Goedde said that in the time since the 1-888-BETSOFF helpline was established in 2001, more than 40,000 calls have been placed to the helpline. An additional 46,000 referrals for free treatment programs have also been given.

To support the national awareness campaign and the availability of free help in Missouri, the Alliance has created a new public service announcement (PSA). The PSA is being distributed via radio and TV across the state, and it can be found here: Alliance members also completed a redesign of the Bets Off billboards in late 2017.

To access free help from licensed professionals, please call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), email or visit The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery both offer their own voluntary, self-exclusion lists for problem gamblers. More information about problem gambling concerns and responsible gaming can be found at, and


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