Monday, September 18, 2023

Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, Bloomington, MN
3900 American Blvd. West, Bloomington, MN 55437
CEU credits available

The gambling landscape continues to shift through rapid expansion and reactions to insufficient regulations. Those working in prevention, treatment and research need to understand and be responsive to these changes.

Registration is now closed.


Session I

Using Affordability Guidelines as a Tool for Player Protection Online in a North American Context

The proliferation of gambling opportunities worldwide, including continuous online gambling, has generated concern over how to protect individuals and families from harm caused by excessive spending. In response, researchers and operators have worked with big data to develop risk-identification models to identify indicators of problem gambling.

In North America, responsible gambling efforts largely place the onus on players to control their behavior. However, in the UK and elsewhere, regulations have shifted to a model of shared responsibility that targets “affordability,” the amount individual players can afford to lose, rather than focus on traditional indicators of problem gambling. This affordability approach avoids the need for regulators and operators to be clinicians, attempting to identify disorder. Rather, it builds on existing systems to determine creditworthiness and player risk levels.

Using affordability guidelines will aid in promoting the objective identification of players who are spending beyond their means and facilitate the necessary transition to a shared responsibility model for harm reduction.


  • To understand the public policy landscape internationally that will influence future harm reduction policies in the U.S. as it relates to gambling.
  • To explore the strongest evidence-based indicators for identifying players at risk in online gambling sites.
  • To learn the role of affordability guidelines in enhancing player protection and how to introduce them in a North American context.

Speaker Profiles
Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D., is a distinguished professor and director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. She also serves as associate dean for research in the School of Social Work and as chair of public policy & behavioral addictions at the Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RARC) at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute. A clinician and attorney, Dr. Nower specializes in gambling disorder and related harm, and directs the Rutgers Addiction Counselor Training Certificate (ACT) Program, which trains gambling counselors for IGCCB certification. Dr. Nower’s research focuses on online gambling and sports wagering; measurement, etiology and treatment of gambling and gaming disorders; forensic issues in gambling and gaming, and gambling-related policy issues. She was the 2022 recipient of the Lifetime Research Award from the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington D.C., where she also chairs the research committee. Dr. Nower serves as a senior editor for the journal Addiction and holds ICGC-II and BACC certifications from the IGCCB.

Dr. Timothy W. Fong

Session 2

Better Luck Tomorrow: Gambling Among Asian American Pacific Islanders


This presentation will review the cultural values of gambling among Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) that contribute to gambling and problem gambling. A review of the scientific body of work over the last fifteen years will occur to increase an understanding and appreciation of how gambling is intertwined in AAPI communities. Improved knowledge of the cultural influences on gambling in AAPI communities will enhance screening efforts, prevention and treatment efforts of mental health, addiction and community-based organizations.


  • Name three cultural themes among AAPI communities that increase risk for gambling disorder
  • Be able to demonstrate screening and assessment techniques from AAPI clients and their families focused on identifying gambling behaviors
  •  Learn three office-based techniques that will engage and retain AAPI clients and their families impacted with gambling disorder

Speaker Profiles
Dr. Timothy W. Fong, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. He is also the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, whose purpose is to examine the clinical characteristics of gambling disorder in order to develop effective, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies. Dr. Fong is also the director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Service and an attending physician in the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Clinic.

Brian Hatch

Jeffrey P. Wasserman, MPA, JD, ICGC-I, CPRS
Session 3

The All-In Podcast Comes to Minnesota

Brian Hatch and Jeff Wasserman will be doing a live episode of “All-In: The Addicted Gambler’s Podcast.” All-In is the world’s first podcast exclusively devoted to gambling addiction through the voice of lived experience. On January 9, 2015, Brian began sharing his gambling addiction journey with his best friend, Chris. Brian’s story was heard by others with lived experience, many of whom (including Jeff) came on the podcast to share their stories. Before long, Jeff joined Brian as co-host and the podcast was expanded to include interviews with professionals in the prevention, treatment and recovery communities, as well as authors, researchers and scholars.

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of lived experience in raising awareness of gambling addiction.
  • Appreciate the value of podcasts in reaching persons struggling with gambling harm, particularly through humor.
  • Identify at least three products of advanced technology used to support persons in recovery.

Speaker Profiles
Brian Hatch
Creator/Host All-In: The Addicted Gambler’s Podcast
Peer Recovery Specialist for Bettor Choice
Brian threw away his dreams of being a comedian to spend his nights in casinos. After a 14-year battle with gambling, he decided to try another way, talking about his feelings. In January 2015, he started the world’s first gambling addiction podcast. The podcast has since grown to over 340 episodes and includes interviews with the lived experience community, affected others, clinicians, academics, advocates, public health workers and responsible gambling managers. He speaks from the heart about his own recovery and hopes it helps.

Jeffrey P. Wasserman, MPA, JD, ICGC-I, CPRS
Co-host All-In: The Addicted Gambler’s Podcast
On July 24, 2015, Jeff Wasserman learned that the secret he guarded for decades would no longer remain hidden. An audit of his firm’s trust accounts discovered irregularities that exposed his gambling addiction. His 32-year career as a litigation attorney came to an abrupt end and, at nearly 60, Jeff embarked on a path that began in the darkest of places and led to a journey of healing and self-discovery.

Jeff is the judicial outreach and development director for the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems. He has an International Gambling Counselor Certification (ICGC-I) and is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS). Jeff currently serves as vice president of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling. He is a volunteer member of the Delaware Lawyers Assistance Program and Pennsylvania Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, and is the founder and facilitator of an online problem gambling support group that currently offers daily meetings to participants from 15 different countries.

Jay Robinson
Session 4

Working with Clients and Gambling Harms: Why it Matters and How to Lower Resistance to Treatment

How do I work with a client who doesn’t want to quit gambling? What are best practices in gambling treatment? What are the ethics around harm reduction? How do I convince someone their gambling is a problem, like other addictions? How do I address gambling harms with clients who are presenting for treatment for a different primary concern?

These are questions many practitioners and helpers have about gambling harms, gambling disorder and gambling harm reduction and recovery. Jay Robinson has been a gambling specialist in clinical education for 25 years, and will take participants through a realistic and practical journey of working with clients ethically and in stigma-reducing ways to address these important clinical conundrums.

This keynote is intended to support all participants in understanding how they can identify and address client gambling harms based on harms severity, and follow clinical leading practices and high ethical standards of care. Participants will also be exposed to strategies for lowering client resistance to discussing gambling behaviors through non-stigmatizing approaches that resonate with client needs. Truly client-centred care practices for success will be shared, using grounded examples from prevention and treatment practice.


  • Increase confidence in identifying gambling harms for clients whose primary presenting issue is not gambling
  • Learn how to work with clients who do not want to quit
  • Employ harm reduction and anti-stigmatizing techniques for any clinical setting
  • Increase awareness of the complex nature of gambling harms
  • Use ethical approaches to client-centred gambling care

Speaker Profiles
Jay Robinson, JR Consulting, is an internationally sought-after expert in the field of preventing and responding to gambling harms. With a background in clinical care, counselling psychology, gambling research and prevention, Jay brings evidence to life for real world application in regulatory, operator and public health environments. Jay is a thought leader and innovator in safer gambling programming and is recognized as an expert in training related to gambling safeguards. Jay has provided original responsible gambling and treatment training programs across Australia, Canada, the U.S. and United Kingdom for the past 20 years. Known as an accessible, grounded and relevant knowledge broker, Jay transforms best evidence into new, impactful programs that address the needs of our new global gambling landscapes.

Dr. Timothy W. Fong

Session 5

The Impact of Sports Betting on Mind, Body and Brain

This presentation will closely examine how the rapid expansion of sports betting has and will impact a person’s mind, body and brain functioning. First, an overview of what’s happened in states that have legalized and rapidly expanded sports betting will be provided. Next, this presentation will cover the uniqueness of sports bettor who are vulnerable to gambling disorder and best practices for screening and prevention. Treatment strategies, specifically for sports bettors with gambling disorder will be described with an emphasis on strengthening techniques that can be used in a variety of treatment settings. Lastly, this presentation will explore potential interventions and future public health strategies that should be considered to prevent or limit any public health impact of expanded gambling.>


  • Illustrate how the expansion of sports betting has impacted state public health issues related to gambling behaviors
  • Develop three techniques and strategies for screening and assessment of sports bettors who may be at risk for gambling disorder
  • Name three treatment strategies that should be applied to sports bettors with gambling disorder
  • Form future strategies for advocacy and community engagement around the issue of sports betting

Speaker Profiles
Dr. Timothy W. Fong, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. He is also the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, whose purpose is to examine the clinical characteristics of gambling disorder in order to develop effective, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies. Dr. Fong is also the director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Service and an attending physician in the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Clinic.

Cara Macksoud

Alex De Marco

Session 6

Resources and Tools for Financial Counseling in Gambling Disorder Treatment

Problem gambling treatment professionals often struggle to counsel clients on financial issues that stem from gambling debt, an individual’s relationship with money, financial infidelity in families and more. Financial counseling resources like and tools like Money Habitudes can help. In this presentation, we will explain how and Money Habitudes can be used to address a client’s financial distress so that you can help your clients get better sooner.

By attending this presentation, you will:

  • Become more aware of financial counseling resources and tools available to support your clinical work with clients, and how to access them.
  • Learn how to use the Money Habitudes assessment tool and how to interpret the nuances of each Habitude domain to have better conversations about money with your clients.
  • Learn best practices for counseling clients on financial issues such as budgeting and debt repayment plans, and how to work with a financial counselor to develop customized plans that can be incorporated into a client’s treatment program.

Speaker Profiles
Cara Macksoud is the CEO of Money Habitudes. She completed the Financial Therapy Graduate Certificate at Kansas State University and holds a BS in Finance from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Certified Financial Behavior Specialist® and a member of the Financial Therapy Association, where she serves on the membership committee. She is also a member of the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) and is an AFC candidate.

Alex De Marco is the founder and CEO of MoneyStack, Inc. MoneyStack operates and other online financial education communities for nonprofits, government agencies and corporate clients across the U.S. Prior to MoneyStack, Alex was a director of engineering at The New York Times. He has over 20 years of experience in various technology industry roles. Alex holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer and Electrical Engineering, and is a member of the Financial Therapy Association (FTA) and the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education.

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