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8th Annual Maryland Virtual Conference on Problem Gambling



Morning Session I – 8:30-10:15 AM EDT

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Robert White, LCPC, Director, External Affairs and Business Development, Department of Psychiatry, UMB/UMMS/FPI; Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling
  • Mary Drexler, MSW, Program Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling

Maryland Department of Health Opening Remarks

  • Kathleen Rebbert-Franklin, LCSW-C, Director, Service Access and Practice Innovation Division, Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration

Keynote – Legalized Sports Betting

  • (Moderator) Blair Inniss, JD, Government Affairs Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling; Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy
  • Brianne Doura-Schawohl, VP of US Policy & Strategic Development, Epic Risk Management
  • Brian Hess, Executive Director, Sports Fans Coalition
  • Jim Logue, Managing Director of Gaming, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
  • Patrick Willard, Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Council on Problem Gambling

Summary: Legalized Sports Betting is the current hot topic among legislators, regulators, sports organizations, and the general public. In Maryland, the General Assembly passed legislation in April 2021 to legalize sports betting in the state. Although sports betting legislation can vary from state-to-state here in the U.S., and even country-to-country internationally, one thing is consistent: sports betting legislation is removing the barriers on how and where to bet by increasing the accessibility to place a bet. Join us for an interactive panel discussion that will take a closer look at sports betting legislation from a variety of perspectives.

In this session, participants will be able to:  Understand what responsible gambling provisions are being implemented internationally and nationally regarding sports betting; learn about the proposed comprehensive regulations being drafted by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency; and learn how sports organizations are responding to implementation of sports betting.

Morning Break – 10:15-10:30 AM EDT

Morning Session II – 10:30-11:45 AM EDT

Award Presentation: The Dr. Joseph W. Ciarrocchi Excellence in Problem Gambling

Keynote – Culture, The Soul (Psyche) Behind the High, and Praying to Win??!!: Cultural Diversity in Addiction and Engaging Cultural Communities including Faith-Based Communities

  • (Moderator) Christopher Welsh, MD, Medical Director-UMMC Substance Abuse Consultation Service; Medical Director-UMMC Outpatient Addiction Treatment Services; Medical Director-Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling
  • Deborah G. Haskins, Ph.D., LCPC, ACS, MAC, ICGC-II, CCGSO, BACC, Founder and Chief Clinical Consultant, MOSAIC Consulting and Counseling Services; President, Maryland Council on Problem Gambling

Summary: While we have more scholarship on culture, addictions and mental health practice, we lag behind specifically identifying cultural strategies for gambling disorders, wellness, and prevention. People heal in a variety of ways, including reliance on faith and spirituality.  Did you know “psyche” means soul? Are we engaging one of the first “hospital stops” in many cultural communities?–the faith community.  Attend this session to learn from a cultural competency scholar, practitioner, and trained pastoral counselor to expand your toolkit for addictions prevention, treatment, and community wellness, including engaging the faith and spiritual communities.

In this session, participants will be able to: Understand the contributing risk factors (i.e., ACEs, trauma, systemic racism, social determinants of health)  influencing addiction and problem gambling among cultural communities; identify components of the Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Health Care Model (Tucker, Herman, Ferndinand, & Baily, 2021) and the Multidimensional Model of Broaching Behavior (Day-Vines, Chuxton-Keller, Agorsor, Gubaro, & Otabil, 2020) and implications for addictions services; and understand the asset of  faith and spiritual communities and learn strategies of expanded community wellness with illustrations from Maryland.

Lunch Break – 11:45 AM-12:45 PM EDT

Afternoon Session I – 12:45-2:30 PM EDT

Award Presentation: The 2021 Jeffrey M. Beck Scholarship

Award Presentation: 2021 Excellence in Problem Gambling Prevention

Keynote – The Treatment Deterrent: Nevada’s Gambling Treatment Diversion Court

  • (Moderator) Mary Drexler, MSW, Program Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling
  • Honorable Cheryl Moss (Ret.), Department I, Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County, Nevada
  • Stefanie Nakadilok-Hui, MSCP, MA, LADC, Specialty Court Coordinator, Clark County’s Gambling Treatment Diversion Court (GTDC), Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Jasmine Countess, Responsible Gambling Director, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
  • Anthony S. Parente, MA, LCPC, NCC, MAC, ICGC II, BACC, Private Practitioner, Maryland

Summary: On November 30, 2018, Nevada heard its first case before the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court (GTDC), presided by Clark County District Judge Cheryl Moss. The GTDC is currently the only active gambling court in the U.S. The GTDC was established when Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 458A was amended to permit defendants who have been diagnosed with gambling disorder and have pleaded guilty to committing a crime due to that affliction to enter a treatment program (which takes 18 to 36 months to finish), in lieu of incarceration.  Entering this program is dependent on if a criminal judge deems they are eligible.  Judge Moss will share her insights and experiences on how the GTDC works and why it is effective.  An interactive panel will join Judge Moss to discuss how Maryland’s Court Mandated Referrals are connecting residents to treatment.

In this session, participants will be able to: Gain knowledge of Nevada’s Gambling Treatment Diversion Court; understand how Maryland is educating the judiciary system to increase the connection between violations to Voluntary Exclusion Program and treatment; and learn how the Center staff helps connect problem gamblers to treatment from court-mandated referrals.

Afternoon Break – 2:30-2:45 PM EDT

Afternoon Session II – 2:45-4:00 PM EDT

Keynote – Youth Problem Gambling Prevention – A Peer-to-Peer Approach

  • (Moderator) Heather Eshleman, MPH, Prevention Manager, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling
  • Kristine Smith, LCSW-C, MSW, School Social Worker and SADD Club Advisor, Meade High School
  • Princess Kenora Merritt, President, SADD Chapter (teens choosing positivity), Meade High School
  • Mikyle Robinson, Member, SADD Chapter, Meade High School
  • Tonya Banks, President, iLaunchiLand, Inc.
  • Nasya Banks, Video Host, iLaunchiLand, Inc.
  • Ian Dennis, Video Editor, iLaunchiLand, Inc.

Summary: Starting in FY 2019, the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (the Center) focused its youth efforts on integrating underage and problem gambling prevention awareness and outreach within existing state youth programs to maximize the number of youth reached and to increase the effectiveness of content using strategies designed for youth by youth.  Funding specific for youth grants was available in FY 2019 and FY 2020 and through special population grants in FY 2021.  Over the last few years, youth in Maryland have educated their peers on problem gambling through exhibits, videos, social media, and poster contests.

In this session, participants will be able to: Understand the scope of youth gambling here in Maryland and the importance peer-to-peer involvement plays in prevention programs; learn about the Center’s youth grant program and number of Maryland youth reached; and view completed problem gambling prevention projects by youth organizations.

Voices of Recovery

  • (Moderator) Kristen Beall, LCSW-C, CAC-AD, Clinical Manager, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling

Closing Remarks

  • Mary Drexler, MSW, Program Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling