Problem gambling among youth has emerged as a significant and growing public health issue. Research has shown that prevention strategies produce the greatest impact. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has issued grants totaling $120,000 to three organizations in support of their problem gambling prevention programs.
NCPG’s Agility Grant initiative is designed to establish and expand problem gambling prevention efforts across the US. Grants are targeted toward programs that minimize the harm of problem gambling on a primary level — meaning those who have not yet gambled — and on a secondary level, for people with limited gambling experience.
“Problem gambling among youth has emerged as a significant and growing public health issue,” said NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte. “Research has shown that prevention strategies produce the greatest impact.”
Agility is the first program of its kind and is funded by the National Football League Foundation, with additional support from FanDuel. The program plans to award more than $1 million over three years.
It is the second round of donations under the Agility Grant initiative. NCPG awarded the first round of grants to two organizations — Towson University Foundation and the Oklahoma Association on Problem Gambling and Gaming — in March.
“We’re proud to support the NCPG’s important work through this unique program which aims to combat problem gambling, particularly in young adults and adolescents,” said Anna Isaacson, Senior Vice President for Social Responsibility at the NFL. “These Agility Grants will provide critical funds to three very worthy organizations who share our desire to curb problem gambling through proactive outreach and education.”
The three grants announced late last month are going to:
- Freedom House of Mecklenburg Inc. — to support Problem Gambling Primary and Secondary Prevention Curriculum Development, a collaborative school-based program that will incorporate problem gambling prevention into the curriculum of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). “In partnership with CMS and the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program, Freedom House of Mecklenburg will integrate problem gambling prevention lessons into the Choice Led Health curriculum taught to approximately 20,000 7th graders across 49 CMS middle schools,” NCPG said. “The program curriculum will include resources from Stacked Deck, an evidence-based problem gambling prevention program.”
Of utmost concern are the 4-6% of adolescents that research has shown already have a serious problem with gambling.
- Ohio in Arabic — for its Let Me Tell You Why campaign, a new bilingual awareness program designed to reach Arab youths and their families across the Buckeye State. “The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of problem gambling and reduce the stigma around problem gambling in Arab communities by offering knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner,” according to the NCPG. “The campaign will include social media, digital, and print materials designed to be engaging, factual, and dynamic to effectively reach a historically underserved audience.”
- Volunteers of America Oregon — aka VOA Oregon, the organization will receive grant support for developing a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age student-athletes. “Using interviews and focus groups with student-athletes, researchers will identify current exposure levels, attitudes, and behaviors about gambling,” the NCPG said. “Focus group findings will be used collaboratively by prevention experts and student-athletes to develop and pilot a problem gambling awareness campaign designed to be used in outreach to all student-athletes in school settings.”
“We applaud the recipients of these Agility Grants for working to address problem gambling at the source and hope that this support will increase their impact on the community,” Whyte said.
According to the NCPG, about 60% of high-school-aged adolescents report having gambled for money in the last year, and 10-14% of adolescents are at risk of developing a gambling problem. “Of utmost concern are the 4-6% of adolescents that research has shown already have a serious problem with gambling,” said NCPG.
Agility Grants are awarded through two funding rounds every year. Next year’s fund round for Spring 2023 will be open for applications from January 18 to February 28, 2023. More information about the grants is available at ncpgambling.org/agility.