2021 ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

Pharmacotherapy Treatment of Gambling Disorder

August 18, 2021 2:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine

Gambling disorder, previously termed pathological gambling, has been recognized as a formal disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual since 1980. Currently, behavioral therapies and self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous are the main treatment/intervention approaches utilized. While multiple medications have been tested in clinical trials for their efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of gambling disorder, no drug has an FDA indication for treating the condition. Data suggest that the vast majority of individuals with gambling disorder (more than 95%) have one or more co-occurring psychiatric disorder. As such, in clinical practice, selection of the most appropriate medication for treating individuals may be guided by co-occurring disorders. Data suggest that targeting these co-occurring disorders may bring benefits in both the co-occurring and gambling domains. In this webinar, a current understanding of the data supporting the use of medications in the treatment of people with gambling disorder will be presented.

Who’s Responsible For Responsible Gambling?

September 21, 2021 2:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Heather Gray, PhD, Harvard Medical School

Academics, gambling regulators, and the gambling industry increasingly espouse a shared responsibility view of preventing gambling harm. This view considers individual gamblers and external stakeholders, such as casino employees, to be jointly responsible for minimizing gambling harm. But do individual gamblers share this view? This presentation will review three years of cross-sectional surveys with participants sampled from the (MGM) MLife customer loyalty program database. In the most recent survey, fielded in January 2020 with 4,336 MLife subscribers, we observed that most participants only held individual gamblers responsible for helping prevent gambling harm. Put another way, most participants held a purely internal responsibility viewpoint. However, those who screened positive on the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) were more likely than those who screened negative to hold a shared responsibility viewpoint and holding a diffuse sense of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm predicted BBGS status over and above traditional individual-level risk factors. These findings echo the previous two years of survey findings with largely non-overlapping samples. Additionally, for the first time, we observed that those who screened positive on the BBGS were more likely than their counterparts to deny personal responsibility for minimizing gambling harm to individual gamblers; that is, they were more likely to hold a purely external responsibility viewpoint. This webinar will discuss implications of these findings for health promotion and best practices for message design in responsible gambling programs.

Loss Chasing in Gambling Disorder - Clinical, Behavioral, and Data Science Perspectives

October 28, 2021 2:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Luke Clark, PhD, University of British Columbia

Loss chasing is a diagnostic item for Gambling Disorder and is present in many screening instruments for problem gambling. It is often discussed as a defining feature for differentiating disordered gambling from recreational gambling. But loss chasing can also be expressed in many ways, both within and between gambling episodes, and this creates an obstacle for understanding the ‘centrality’ of loss chasing. This talk will summarize three lines of research characterizing loss chasing on laboratory tasks, in authentic slot machines, and in online behavioral tracking data, in order to better establish the psychological underpinnings of this symptom.