Wednesday, April 12, 2017
March was a busy month for the WCPG. March was Problem
Gambling Awareness Month. During March, we tried to raise awareness
in a variety of ways. We sent posters, bookmarks and letters to all
of the libraries in the state of Wisconsin. This was a good way to
bring awareness about gambling disorders to a variety of
people. Many libraries requested additional bookmarks which
was our hope. We also sent out press releases about
PGAM. Additionally, we tried to increase awareness of
gambling disorders through Facebook, twitter, and linked in.
As March comes to a close and PGAM finishes it is important for us
to remember that gambling disorders can be a problem every day of
the year. So please remember to be aware that someone you know or
work with may have a gambling problem and may be dealing with the
serious consequences of that disorder daily. WCPG provides
education, awareness and resources, 365 days a year.
Our 18th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Conference
was held on March 23-24, 2017 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart
Lake. There were 120 participants at this year's conference.
Some of the topics covered were Internet Gambling and Fantasy
Sports, Generational Differences, Motivational Interviewing,
Ethics, Groups for Problem Gamblers, Process Addictions and many
more. Next year's 19th annual conference will be held on
March 15-16, 2018 at the Milwaukee Marriot West. Mark your
calendars to join us.
During the month of March, we presented to several High Schools
in Wisconsin. The school programming provides education about
gambling disorders. We talk about the risks involved in
gambling and the warning signs. As we know, many teens use gambling
as the "gateway" activity, thus leading to more risky behavior.
Social gambling can quickly move to problem gambling. A gambling
disorder is just as serious as a drug addiction. Our hope is that
by reaching out to adolescents, we can prevent some of the negative
statistics associated with gambling disorders.
The 24-hour Helpline continues to receive an average of 1200
calls a month. In addition, the number of contacts through our chat
line is available on our website at wi-problemgamblers.org
continues to increase. We recently implemented our text line.
People can text for help at 920-888-HELP (4357).
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Hello from the WCPG's Outreach Coordinator!
This fall has been very busy for the outreach program. In the
month of October, we presented to 5 schools which included almost
900 students! November 2016 is on track to be our busiest month
EVER; expecting to reach almost 1,100 students!
You might be wondering, "Why do students really need to learn
about problem gambling? Aren't they too young to participate?" Over
the past 2 years, I have asked students in the classrooms I visit,
"how many of you have placed a bet?" The majority of students
report participation in some type of gambling. The most common
forms of gambling reported are lottery tickets, raffles, poker,
fantasy sports, and personal wagers. Our youth ARE gambling.
We teach our teenagers and young adults about the risks
associated with drugs and alcohol, but often, we do not think about
educating them about the risk of problem gambling. Left untreated
the end result of any addiction can lead to prison, insanity, or
death. This can be true of alcohol, drugs, AND gambling.
The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling offers classroom
presentations FREE to schools in Wisconsin. These presentations can
be tailored to fit the specific needs of your classroom.
Presentations are interactive and FUN! If you have questions about
our programming options, or would like to schedule a presentation
for your classroom, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 18, 2016
The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling (WCPG) is pleased to
be partnering with Concordia University Wisconsin with offering the
WCPG's Gambling Disorder Training Program/Course. Concordia
University Wisconsin will be offering professional development
credit as an option (1 credit available for phases 1 & 2 and 1
credit available for phases 3 & 4). CUW Counseling students,
faculty, and alumni may attend free of charge!
The trainer for the Mequon program is Doug LaBelle, LCSW, CEAT,
CAI, NCGC-II, Resources for Change, Lake Bluff, IL and Kenosha, WI.
Doug LaBelle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois and
Wisconsin with over 29 years of experience working with individuals
and families impacted by chemical and process addictions, a
National Certified Gambling Counselor II, a trainer with the
Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, a Certified ARISE
Interventionist and an ARISE Senior Trainer with Linking Human
Systems. Currently in full-time private practice, Resources for
Change, LTD., in Lake Bluff, Illinois and Kenosha, Wisconsin as a
psychotherapist, EAP Consultant and Interventionist.
The WCPG has applied for Continuing Education Units for 15 hours
each phase with the following: Wisconsin Association for Marriage
and Family Therapy, NASW, EACC, National Gambling Counselor
Certification Board, and the WI Department of Safety and
Professional Services. Certificate of attendance will be provided
by the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, Inc.
October 20-21, 2016 (Phase 1)
November 10-11, 2016 (Phase 2)
January 19-20, 2017 (Phase 3)
February 9-10, 2017 (Phase 4)
Concordia University Wisconsin
12800 N. Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
Luptak Terrace Room (AL 114)
Monday, March 28, 2016
The WCPG recently held its 17th annual statewide
gambling awareness conference "Riding the Riptide of Change through
Gambling and Co-Occurring Disorders". 135 participants had the
opportunity to earn up to 21 CEU's during the pre-conference and
the two-day conference. Fifteen presenters provided workshops
on a variety of topics including: Gambling Addiction treatment and
Financial Capability, Ethics, Supervision, Therapeutic Gambling
Treatment in the Criminal Justice System, Problem Gambling and
domestic abuse, Mindfulness and addiction as well as many
others. It was a great networking opportunity for presenters
At the Annual Awards Banquet, four awards were given to people
who have gone above and beyond in helping problem gamblers in the
state of Wisconsin and helping the Council fulfill its mission of
providing resources for anyone affected by gambling disorders. We
look forward to presenting the 18th Annual Conference on
March 23-24, 2017 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. We hope
you can join us.
Rose Gruber, Executive Director
Thursday, March 17, 2016
The WCPG Outreach Program has been traveling all across the
state this school year. During the 2015-16 school year we have
reached over 4,000 students and 1,100 educators already!
Students enjoy learning about gambling and problem gambling.
Through games and group activities, youth are able to learn the
warning signs and resources available for those struggling with
problem gambling and gambling disorders. Students have the
opportunity to create
artwork that is featured regularly on the WCPG website.
We hear often from educators that problem gambling is not
something they find in their students' textbooks. Gambling Disorder
is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an
addiction. It is categorized the same as alcohol and drugs.
Education about gambling disorders is an easy fit into most
existing AODA/AOTA curriculums.
To request a speaker for your school or classroom, please fill
out our speaker request form or contact us directly at 920-437-8888
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Seventeenth Annaul Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling
Statewide Conference is underway. The presenters are picked,
the brochure is out and registrations are coming in. The name of
this years conference is "Riding the Riptide of Change Through
Gambling and Co-Occurring Disorders", You can earn up to 21.25 CEUs
at the conference. This includes a 4 hour Ethics training and a 6
hour Clinical Supervision Track. There will be special
entertainment following the Awards Banquest. For more information,
conference tab on our website or call us at 920-437-8888..
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
By Andrea Rathsack
Adolescents ages 12-19 are a high-risk group for developing
gambling problems. It is often very difficult to discover. Because
they are not legally old enough to gamble, and there are no visible
signs as there are for other addictions, youth gambling can go
unnoticed. While the majority of students will not become problem
gamblers, knowing about gambling disorder and the warning signs
will help them make good choices and provide support to friends and
family as they enter their later teen and adult years, including
The WCPG offers schools, classrooms, and parent organizations
presentations on problem gambling, absolutely free. Presentations
are interactive and educational.
Between September 2014 and September 2015, the WCPG has reached
over 1360 youth through classroom presentations and youth
These presentations have been well received by both educators
and students with many comments like the following, "I really
enjoyed the presentation, I learned a lot of things about gambling
and addiction. I think it really put into perspective how easy it
can be together addicted to gambling. It definitely makes me want
to be cautious for when I begin to be old enough to start gambling
for fun (which is not that far away). Now that I know it's an
actual disorder, I will take it more seriously."
Through the end of the year, WCPG is scheduled to reach an
additional 1130 students through classroom presentations. That
number continues to rise as new requests are received each week.
Please help spread the word that presentations are available
statewide! Contact Andrea for more information:
Monday, August 17, 2015
by Doug LaBelle, LCSW, CEAP, NCGC II
Resources for Change, Ltd.
Lottery tickets can't be sold to anyone under 18 -
right? Well, MY Child is under 18!
Casinos can't allow anyone under 21 to gamble - right?
Well, MY Child is under 21!
Online gambling is not allowed for anyone under 21-
right? Well, MY Child is under 21!
So, MY Child can't gamble - RIGHT ? !
By definition, gambling involves the betting of money or
something of value with the possibility/hope/expectation to gain
more money or more things of value.
While many parents truly believe that gambling is an adult
activity and that their children just don't gamble, facts and
realities provide a different picture.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes gambling as
a problem among children and has produced a pamphlet about this
issue titled "Gambling: Not a Safe Thrill."
Teen gambling seldom involves casinos or race
tracks. Rather, teen gambling can involve:
- Poker, other card games and dice in basements and other
- Betting on sporting events of all kinds
- Lottery tickets including Scratch Offs
- Games of "skill" including video games and other types of
- Online gambling including poker, keno, slots, etc.
Research has shown that gambling most commonly begins
around the age of 14 and that by 19, 78% of teens are gambling in
some form. In addition, problem gambling increases
consistently during teen years going from 1.3% of teens ages 14-15
to 3.4% of teens ages 18-19.
In fact, National U.S. surveys have consistently shown
that gambling involvement increases throughout the teenage years,
becomes prevalent at a much earlier age than drinking and that more
teens gamble than drink.
While most parents are aware that their teens are online
and involved with Social Media, the reality of this involvement is
somewhat amazing - 92% of teens report going online daily - including
24% who say they go online "almost constantly," according
to a new study from Pew Research Center.
While most of this online activity does not involve
gambling, it can be a risk factor for teenage gambling.
Recent studies show that simulated gambling is common
among teens and can include various online games such as Grand
Theft Auto V, Pokemon, Zynga Poker and Slotomania.
Research has also shown that monthly use of online
gambling sites increased for both high school age male students
(2.7% in 2008 to 6.2% in 2010) and college age male students (4.4 %
in 2008 to 16% in 2010).
Other risk factors include having parents with gambling
problems, an earlier age of first gambling activity, greater
impulsivity and various maladaptive coping strategies.
Parents can play a vital role in reducing some of the risk
factors associated with teen problem gambling by using standard,
yet important, parenting techniques. These include
maintaining an appropriate level of parental monitoring of teen
activity and behavior, including financial and online behavior, and
consistently setting and holding to limits and
Kids do gamble and
parents can do something about it - Be
Caring, Supportive and Informed Parents
about Gambling and Your Child!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Hello there, my name is René Pringle and I started working
full-time here at the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling in late
March of this year as the Conference Coordinator/Administrative
Assistant. I was the part-time bookkeeper at the WCPG since 2010
and have known some of the outstanding people here over the last
few years, who I now am lucky enough to work with on a daily basis.
I look forward to meeting even more of the wonderful people who
help make the council such a great organization raising awareness
about problem gambling and who help to give support and services to
those affected by gambling disorders.
This last year has been quite exciting for me, I married my
incredible husband in June of 2014, a few months after that we
purchased, with my brother, the cabin that has been in our family
for over 60 years in the north woods of Wisconsin to make new
lasting memories with our growing family. Then started this
adventure of becoming the Conference Coordinator here at the WCPG.
I am thrilled and up to the challenge to be a part of next year's
conference in March of 2016. I have been learning a lot the last
few months and I know there is more ahead of me on this great
Friday, May 29, 2015
My name is Andrea and I am the Outreach Coordinator here at
WCPG. This position was created in August of 2014. It has been an
exciting journey so far, building our Outreach program. I have met
some really great students throughout the state as well as many
teachers who are dedicated to giving the absolute best to their
students and helping to prepare them to be successful young
Did you know, adolescents ages 12-19 are at a high risk of
developing gambling problems? Because they are not legally old
enough to gamble, and there are no visible signs, as there are with
other addictions, youth gambling can often go unnoticed.
We are dedicated to increasing awareness of the issue of teen
gambling with students as well as educators. Since August, I have
presented to 668 students and 18 educators. These students
participated in a fun new program that encourages learning the
facts about both gambling and gambling disorder.
We have recently created a new Facebook page, targeted to teens
and young adults. Be sure to "like" us!
Please check out our Outreach tab and discover all that we have