Published April 24, 2012
From 1900-1960, Nevada was the only state with legalized gambling. Outside of Nevada, gambling translated to charity bingo, horse and dog tracks.
By 2001, gambling opportunities had increased radically: 35 out of 50 states had Off Track Betting (OTB), 42 had interstate track betting, 38 had lotteries and 26 states had casinos. RIA researchers wanted to know how prevalent problem gambling had become; how the prevalence of problem gambling was related to the expanded availability of gambling and the increased permissiveness of gambling laws; how problem gambling was distributed across different ethnic groups, age groups, regions and neighborhoods; and what it means for families, communities and public policy.
RIA responded to the country's growing concerns about gambling in the late 90s, and by doing so expanded its portfolio of addiction research from alcohol and drugs to include gambling.
One of the first national gambling studies of its kind – with funding not from a gambling-related entity but from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – surveyed U.S. adults (18 and over) about their gambling and drinking habits. Data were collected from residents of all 50 states and D.C.
The results hit the news media, community groups and policymakers with a resounding impact:
RIA communicates research results to various audiences — individuals, families, medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, other scientists — in multi-media kinds of ways: newspapers, tv and radio, websites and blogs, peer-reviewed journals. These results have been disseminated to:
Newspaper/TV/Radio: The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pennsylvania’s Meadville Tribune, Buffalo News, Business First, Buffalo Challenger, Buffalo Criterion, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago’s Daily Herald, Addiction Professional Magazine, HHS Healthbeat, WNED-TV, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, Harvard Medical School’s “The WAGER,” Boston Globe, Denver Post, Chicago Business, Bethlehem PA’s The Morning Call, Las Vegas Sun.
Web: Health News Digest, Casino Gambling Web, PsychCentral, Addiction Professional, The McCarville Report Online blogspot, EurekaAlert, Medical News Today, SunSpot.net—Maryland’s Online Community, Healthscout.com, ctnow.com—The Hartford Courant, SubstanceAbuse.About.com, scienceblog.com, NBC, ABC, AP, UPI, CBC, Great Lakes Center to Prevent Gambling Addiction.
Scientific Journals: Journal of Gambling Studies, International Gambling Studies, Journal of American College Health, American Journal on Addictions, Journal of Adolescent Health, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, and the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, to name a few.
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Grant awards made to RIA scientists increase the number of jobs in our area, the amount of dollars spent in housing, retail, schooling and entertainment, as well as the growth of urban, suburban and rural communities in the region. RIA's 160 staff members reside in and contribute to 20 different local municipalities as taxpayers, consumers, parents, students, volunteers and much, much more.
Multi-year awards from NIH funding RIA’s gambling research since 1998 included:
1998 - 2002 | $1.2 million
Co-Occurrence of Gambling & Alcohol Use in the U.S.
1999 - 2003 | $665,000
Coping in Those with Pathological Gambling Partners
2000 - 2003 | $308,000
Development of Gambling & Alcohol Use in Youth
2003 - 2008 | $1.8 million
Gambling & Substance Use Among Youth
2009 - 2013 | $3.0 million
Problem Gambling: A Decade of Change