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
Monday, April 27, 2015
The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling recently held its
16th annual conference. The conference was held at the
Osthoff Resort on March 12-13, 2015. Attendee's came from around
Wisconsin as well as Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,
Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota to attend the conference.
The conference covered a variety of topics including Ethics,
Supervision, Special populations, Treatment issues, Wellness,
Co-Occurring Disorders and a variety of other topics surrounding
The annual awards banquet on March 12 included awards to Larry
Schoville (post-humously), LeAnne Holden, Patriciaq Jirovetz and
Please join us for our 17th Annual Problem Gambling
Awareness Conference on March 10-11, 2016 at the Marriott Milwaukee
West. The WCPG provides the only conference in the state of
Wisconsin that specializes in gambling disorders. We hope to see
Rose Gruber, Executive Director
Monday, March 30, 2015
Coping with a family member's gambling behavior can be
exhausting. You have the right to feel safe both physically and
emotionally. It can be exhausting trying to hold everything
together at home. Use your energy to take charge of your
situation. Remember you cannot force your family member to
acknowledge that their gambling is a problem or force them to stop
gambling. You are not to blame for their behavior.
To not feel isolated and alone seek support from supportive
people around you. It may mean going for counseling or attending a
GAMANON meeting. Counseling can be a safer alternative for
discussing problems if there is a communication breakdown between
you and the gambler.
I like this quote from Corinna Bowers, "I need not know the
entire journey in order to take one step!" Remember you are not
alone and there is help out there for you, use it!
-Patricia Jirovetz, NCGC1
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Happy New Year!!!
All of us here at the WCPG wish you a wonderful New Year! We
hope you had a great end of 2014 and that your 2015 is even
The WCPG Helpline was very busy in 2014. The Helpline had a
record setting 14,731 calls, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2013
and topping the previous record of 14,604 calls in 2009. Our
Website, wi-problemgamblers.org started offering a Chat Line in
The 16th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Conference will be
held on March 12-13, 2015 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake,
WI. The brochure is now available on our website or by contacting
the WCPG office at 920-437-8888 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The
conference is a great opportuniuty to learn more about gambling
disorders, network with others, and have a little fun along the
We look forward to working with everyone in 2015.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Welcome to the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling's first
blog. We look forward to connecting with you. I am Rose Gruber and
I am the executive director for the WCPG. From 1990 to 1997 I
worked in Sturgeon Bay at a non-profit agency called Help of Door
County as the Domestic Violence Services Coordinator.
In early 1997 I decided it was time for me to think about moving
back to Green Bay which is where I grew up and where I called
home. I started applying for a few jobs. My sister called me
one Sunday morning and said I just found the perfect job for you in
the newspaper. The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling was
looking for a Helpline Coordinator. I had been answering a
Helpline for many years and thought "this might be a good
fit". I didn't really know much about the gambling addiction
but was excited about finding out more. I applied, was interviewed
by two of the original board members, Jerry Buckley and Judy
Schaeff. I still remember the day I got the job. I went to
real estate school because I had thought about getting my real
estate license. It was the last afternoon of the class on a
beautiful sunny day in May. When I checked my phone (back
then I still had the old bag phone) I had a message from Jerry. He
offered me the position. I was so excited. For about the
first 8 months I kept wondering why I took the job. But then one
day everything clicked and the WCPG has become
my baby. About a year after I was hired I became the Executive
Director. The rest is history. I absolutely love my job and
all of the wonderful people I have met.
What has kept me here for over 17 years? The fact that every
day I can say, I helped someone today. Whether it be a compulsive
gambler, a family member or someone else. I have always had a
wonderful dedicated group of board of directors and awesome
co-workers to work with. I have met so many wonderful people
along the way-treatment providers, conference attendees, etc.
There have been some bumps in the road but at the end of each day I
can say I have been blessed to have been given such a wonderful
opportunity to be part of the community that helps provide
resources and services for people who are affected by compulsive
gambling disorders and their families. Thank you for being part of