Dr. Alex Blaszczynski
Professor and Director,
Gambling Treatment Clinic and
Research, University of Sydney
Dr. Alex Blaszczynski has evaluated randomized treatment outcomes studies using behavioural interventions, assessed the prevalence of depression and suicidality, determined the relationship between crime and gambling, and highlighted the role of impulsivity in pathological gamblers. He developed a conceptual pathways model explaining the aetiology of pathological gamblers and has reviewed responsible gambling and harm minimization strategies. He was chairman of the Working Party for the Australian Psychological Society and is currently the editor-in-chief of International Gambling Studies.
Dr. Blaszczynski received the American Council of Problem Gambling Directors Award in 1995, the National Centre for Responsible Gambling Senior Investigator’s Research Award in 2004, the New South Wales Government’s Responsible Gambling Fund’s Excellence Award for contributions to gambling in 2013, and most recently the American National Council on Responsible Gambling’s Lifetime Research Achievement award.
Breaks in Play – An Irresponsible Strategy?
Empirical data supports the Jacobs' model of General Theory of Addiction in that the narrowing foci of attention phenomenologically characteristic of dissociation contributes to a gambler's failure to track time and money spent. As a result, strategies designed to interrupt dissociative states, such as breaks in play and warning messages, have been advanced as responsible gambling measures. However, evidence is emerging that contradicts this theory. In his presentation, Dr. Blaszcynski challenges conventional wisdom and discusses how breaks in play may be counterproductive and actually enhance craving to continue play.