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How Gambling Works

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Skill & Knowledge

Learn how skill and knowledge factor into games of chance

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Finding Help

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Finding Help | GameSense

If you find yourself gambling too much, or if it no longer feels like a game, there’s help if you need it.

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Dr. Sally Gainsbury | 2015 Speakers


   Senior Lecturer, Centre for Gambling
   Education & Research,
   Southern Cross University

    Lismore, Australia

Dr. Sally Gainsbury is a qualified clinical psychologist with over 10 years’ experience conducting gambling research. Her research has focused on understanding gambling to inform the development of responsible gambling strategies and harm minimisation policies.

Dr. Gainsbury has been awarded numerous research grants including the examination of responsible gambling options for electronic gaming machines, furthering the understanding of Internet gambling and social gaming, and reviewing Internet-based treatment options. She has given keynote and conference presentations internationally and has provided expert input for policy makers and key stakeholders in Australia and Canada. Dr. Gainsbury is the editor of the academic journal International Gambling Studies. She has published over 40 peer-review journal articles, two books, and numerous book chapters and research reports.

Overcoming the Stigma of Problem Gambling

Stigma refers to the negative internal attitudes and beliefs people hold and exhibit through external behaviours, particularly discrimination. Limited research has examined the link between problem gambling and stigma, and research has not addressed the extent to which problem gambling is stigmatised, how stigma is created, how stigma is experienced by different groups, or how stigma impacts on people seeking treatment for gambling problems.

Studies have found that stigma, including shame, embarrassment, fear of judgment and discrimination is often cited as a reason for which gamblers do not seek help and hide their problems from others. This presentation will discuss emerging knowledge on the role of stigma in problem gambling, with an emphasis on understanding how stigma interferes with help-seeking and recovery. Discussion will include ways in which the impacts of problem gambling stigma can be reduced.

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Time to Get Off the Couch?  Alternative Treatments for Problem Gambling

The majority of research into the most effective treatment strategies is still relatively limited and has focused on cognitive-behavioural treatment delivered by regular and repeated face-to-face sessions with a qualified counsellor or psychologist. However, research suggests that only a minority of problem gamblers seek professional help and that gamblers prefer self-help strategies, including strategies to facilitate controlled gambling.

Dr. Gainsbury will discuss the results of a comprehensive review of alternative treatments for problem gambling, including behavioural change strategies and brief interventions. Alternative treatment solutions  include internet and technology-based self-help and professional support. A range of interventions will be discussed that are suitable for low and moderate-risk gamblers. This cross-disciplinary research will provide new findings to inform the most effective behavioural change initiatives that can be successfully applied to help people better manage their gambling.

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A welcome message from BCLC's President & CEO

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