A considerable portion of gambling-related research is undertaken through financial support from the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG). NCRG is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase the understanding of pathological and youth gambling and finding effective methods of treatment for the disorder. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s affiliated charity.

Founded in 1996 as a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the NCRG’s mission is to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders by: supporting peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathological and youth gambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education about gambling disorders and responsible gaming.

In the area of education and outreach, the NCRG strives to: raise public awareness of pathological gambling; provide meaningful, research-based education for clinicians, health providers and the gaming industry; promote a lively exchange of ideas within the field of gambling research; and develop practical applications for research findings.

More than $22 million has been committed to the NCRG through contributions from the casino gaming industry, equipment manufacturers, vendors, related organizations and individuals. Prior to the establishment of the NCRG in 1996, the field of gambling research was undeveloped and lacked a substantial number of peer-reviewed studies on gambling disorders.

By bringing the issue of problem gambling to the forefront, the NCRG also has encouraged government institutions to make investments in pathological gambling research. In 1998, the National Institutes of Health began offering grants in the field, and NCRG-funded grants have helped researchers leverage millions of federal dollars for continued research on gambling.

The NCRG offers funding opportunities for investigators from various disciplines and at all career levels. The NCRG invites applications for three-year projects that: 1) conduct cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary investigations of gambling-related disorders, 2) translate research findings for the public, and 3) cultivate the next generation of gambling researchers by mentoring young investigators. For more information and application materials, visit the NCRG Centers for Excellence in Gambling Research page at http://www.ncrg.org/research-center/apply-ncrg-funding/ncrg-centers-excellence-gambling-research. The next application deadline for grants is July 2, 2012.

Recent Minnesota Gambling Studies Funded by the NCRG

The NCRG has been a source of funding for several major gambling research studies performed in Minnesota. These include:

A study by Serena M. King, Ph.D., L.P., Hamline University titled Gambling Behaviors Among Youth: A Developmental Behavioral Genetic Perspective. Dr. King analyzed large-scale twin studies to examine the roles that behavioral problems, genes and environment play in gambling behaviors from adolescence to young adulthood.

The selection of the University of Minnesota as a Center of Excellence in Gambling Research. Under the leadership of Dr. Jon Grant, the University of Minnesota is developing a model of impulsivity that will enable the identification of young adults at risk for developing pathological gambling. Understanding who is susceptible and why will help lead to effective interventions for prevention and treatment. For more information on impulse control disorders clinic, visit http://www.impulsecontroldisorders.org/.