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As I reflect on 2022, it’s been a busy and productive year for the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling and our many partners. Already, plans for 2023 ensure another full year ahead.   Here, and throughout this issue of Insights, are a few highlights of Advocacy and Awareness Efforts; Prevention Programs; Treatment and Recovery Support Services; and, of course, Training and Professional Workforce Development.  All of these successes, as well as meeting several challenges, required the great partnerships and collaborative efforts with Tribal and State governments, nonprofit organizations, treatment and recovery communities, gaming industry, and experts in research both in Washington State and across North America.  Thank You!


ECPG Board and Staff members participated actively in many important initiatives, work groups, boards and committees to bring a voice of advocacy and expertise from our field.  These included representation on the Washington State Problem Gambling Task Force through work groups; offering recommendations and written support for the final report to Legislators, and both participation and financial support to bring Dr. Rachel Volberg of Gemini Research an an expert consultant on the Washington State Adult Prevalence Survey. 


ECPG Board and Staff members have one of the longest-running histories of participation with and on the National Council on Problem Gambling Board and Committees.  That continues with representation on the NCPG Affiliates, Helpline, Communications, Treatment, Conference, Awards, Military, Responsible Gambling and Government Affairs committees, and the NCPG Board of Directors.  Work on the National Helpline Modernization and Sports Wagering Awareness have been two very large efforts this year.  


Partnerships with Tribal Nations in Washington include work with Behavioral Health programs and services, Responsible Gambling initiatives with casinos, Culturally Responsive Youth Prevention program development, and Voluntary Self-Exclusion Best Practices, among others.   


ECPG continues to support individuals working on their treatment and recovery journeys by paying for the full cost of Residential Treatment when the individual is referred by a Certified Gambling Counselor in Washington State. And ECPG staff participate in and support the Washington State Gambling Counselor Certification Committee through leadership and administrative support.  


This past year, ECPG also launched a series of student scholarship and grant awards.  See the story on Frank Song in this issue to learn more about the first Dissertation Research Grant award.  (Note:  the next deadline for the four different scholarships and awards is April 1, 2023). 


Training and Professional Workforce Development remain a hallmark of ECPG’s work.  Expansion of self-directed and virtual training offerings continues to be important.  We were also pleased to return to in-person trainings this year.  From Focus on the Future and Four Directions to quarterly offerings and virtual trainings; from our own ECPG conferences and trainings to supporting partners at the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board, the Northwest ATTC and National Latino Behavioral Health Association projects; trainings through CASAT in Nevada, and developing trainings with partners such as the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, the Massachusetts Council on Gaming Health, and the Oklahoma Association on Problem Gambling and Gaming, ECPG continues to be known for the high quality of our curriculum development and broad range of trainings. Our own RG STAR (Responsible Gaming Staff Training And Resources) continues to grow in excellence and in working to develop more turn-key offerings so the training can be more accessible. 


In 2022, ECPG also launched the first phase of a new Washington Sports Betting Responsible Gaming Awareness Campaign.  We are excited to continue this important outreach effort well into 2023.  And, there’s so much more in store for 2023.  Check the link to a brief conversation Tana Russell, our Assistant Director, and I shared as we look forward to another very busy year. 




Maureen Greeley 
Executive Director 




Winter Quarterly Training

January 31-February 3, 2023
Online Webinar

View agenda and registration information 

Two Registration Options:   

Advanced Training in Behavioral Health

(Feb. 1-3) 

  • Earn up to 11 CE Credit Hours  

  • Topics include: Question Persuade Refer – suicide prevention program (3 hrs.); Effects of Trauma on the Children of Parents with Addictive Disorders (2 hrs.); Narrative Exposure Therapy (2 hrs.); and Ethics (4 hrs.)

Gambling Counselor Core Training (GCCT)

(Jan. 31-Feb. 3) 

  • 30 Total CE Hours includes: 

  • 10 hours self-directed (available now) 

  • 20 hours live-learning via ZOOM during Jan. 31-Feb. 3 training dates 


Who is the GCCT program for? 

  • Licensed clinicians seeking Gambling Counselor Certification * 

  • Anyone seeking a deep dive into understanding Gambling Disorder 


* For those seeking to become Washington State Certified Gambling Counselors, please familiarize yourself with the Certification requirements , including education and licensing requirements, to verify your eligibility and ability to complete the Certification program.   

* Only those who qualify are eligible to complete the Gambling Counselor Certification program, but the Gambling Counselor Core Training is open to ALL who wish to develop an in-depth understanding of gambling, problem gambling, Gambling Disorder, and treatment services. Join us and meet others!  

Reviews from past attendees of the Gambling Counselor Core Training: 

“The presentations were so excellent, I thought of taking the course twice” 

“The methods were well thought out.  We all learned so much.  I’m very grateful to have participated.” 

“Getting to know the facilitators and the other participants!  There is so much value in sharing personal experiences.” 

“This was one of the best trainings I’ve attended.” 

Scholarships are available for treatment providers seeking to become Certified Gambling Counselors, Prevention Specialists, Peer/Recovery Coaches, and undergraduate/graduate students or professors/counselors in accredited Washington State college and university behavioral health, addictions, and counseling programs. Scholarships are available for all ECPG workshops and conferences. To apply for a scholarship online, click here, or download the fillable PDF

CE Accreditation: Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education by The National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), and the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB). Our workshops have also been approved for continuing education by the Mental Health Addictions Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO), and the American Academy of Healthcare Providers in the Addictive Disorders (AAHCPAD). 



Focus on the Future Conference – Save the Date!


Call for Presentations Is Open!

If you’re interested in submitting a proposal to present at the Spring 2023 Focus on the Future Conference, call for presentations is now open. Deadline for submissions is January 10, 2023. Full information and forms available here.



Foundations in Gaming Disorder – New Launch

Foundations in Gaming Disorder – latest edition 

The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, in partnership with the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health launched the original Foundations in Gaming Disorder – Core training in February 2021.  It has since gone through two revisions, incorporating suggestions from previous attendees, subject matter experts, training partners, and the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board.  The final expanded edition is going live on January 3, 2023!   

Sign up to be among the first to register for this new training program at: https://whatisgamingdisorder.com/ 

What to expect:  

  • 30 CE hours total (previously was 15 hours) 

  • Fully online in a self-directed learning format (previously was webinar-style) 

  • Broken into three parts for focused learning  

  • Learners have up to three months to complete the full series 

  • Accompanying videos, reading assignments, and workbooks for multiple learning styles 

Foundations in Gaming Disorder – Core meets the educational requirements for the Gaming Health Specialist Certificate and International Gaming Disorder Certificate (IGDC)

If you are interested in a professional credential for the treatment of Gaming Disorder, please review the application requirements for either of the following: 




ECPG Awards First Dissertation Research Grant to UW Student

Supporting students from high school seniors just entering college, to undergraduate and graduate students working in the behavioral and mental health sciences, particularly in relation to important work in gambling and gaming disorders, is important to ECPG’s mission.  In Fall 2022, ECPG awarded its first Dissertation Research Grant to Frank Song, currently enrolled in the Ph.D Clinical Psychology program at the University of Washington.  (To learn more about the Student Scholarships and Grant Awards with the next deadline for submissions April 1, 2023, click here.) 

Song’s dissertation research summary is compelling: 

As internet and smartphone technologies have advanced, the past decade has seen rapid growth in novel forms of gambling that are understudied to date (Wardle et al., 2021). In particular, online speculative trading of stocks and cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin) have seen major spikes in prevalence, especially among young adults (Perrin, 2021; Steinmetz et al., 2021) …. 

There is early indication that speculative trading behaviors entail many of the same risks/harms as traditional gambling, and perhaps to even a greater extent given the ease of accessibility and common misperception that these are wise financial investing behaviors.  

Objective of Song’s Research 

The objective of the proposed research is to collect primary data on young adults’ engagement in speculative trading and their mental health indices in a longitudinal study design, which would enable the assessment of time varying links between them and potential causal relationships.  The key rationale for the study is to establish a proof-of-concept that speculative trading is indeed linked to mental health harms, as suspected given the known similarities between problem gambling and speculative trading…. 

The study would serve as one of the first formal examinations of the mental health risks of speculative trading in young adults, a fast-spreading activity with key similarities to gambling.  This line of research will raise awareness of the potential harms of speculative trading in the era of unlimited online access and inform prevention and intervention research.

In addition to his studies, Frank Song has been published in several journals, including the UNLV Gaming Law Journal.  He has been invited to present several talks, including to the 2021 VA Forensic Mental Health Symposium.  He has clinical experience as a mental health and problem gambling counselor at Asian Counseling and Treatment Services Behavioral Health & Recovery Center, and his teaching experience at the UW Department of Psychology includes work both as a Teaching Assistant and as a Graduate Student Mentor.  Because of Frank’s academic accomplishments, hard work, and determination, ECPG is pleased to recognize him and encourage his continued educational and research efforts with the ECPG Dissertation Research Grant.  



Washington Responsible Sports Betting Campaign Launches!


“A new era of legalized betting is taking root across the U.S., one that is radically reshaping what it means to watch professional and collegiate sports.   

For many fans, the days of the once-a-year Super Bowl office pool are a distant memory” 

June 18, 2022/npr.org: Sports betting ads are everywhere.  Some worry gamblers will pay a steep price 

Love the Game – Keep it Fun! 

Let’s face it – sports fans are enthusiastic.  Sports are meant to be fun entertainment – but sometimes, even the greatest fan can stretch fun to its limits.  The same can be true for sports betting.  Betting can be a fun way of adding some extra excitement to a game, but it’s not without risk.   

The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling and several partners are developing a comprehensive, integrated awareness and media campaign around how to make healthy choices if you choose to participate in sports betting, such as setting limits, knowing when to take a time-out, and where to find help and support if gambling problems sideline the fun.  We want to provide Washington state fans and residents the knowledge, tools, and resources to Keep it Fun – and stay healthy! 

Our emphasis is on: 

  • Increasing Awareness and Knowledge about Sports Betting 

  • Providing Tips to Keep it Fun and Resources for Help whenever needed 

The first elements of the Washington awareness campaign include radio spots across the state and the launch of our new microsite KeepItFunWA.org.  Check it out!  Later this Fall, we will launch television spots to support the campaign, as well as two segments on the KING5 New Day Northwest Hawk Zone show.  More details to come.  

The Washington awareness campaign is designed to be dynamic, engaging, fun, memorable, and positive to remind Washingtonians: 

  • Sports should be fun 

  • Sports Betting should also be fun entertainment 

  • Keep the FUN in the Game and make Healthy – Responsible – Choices 

  • If the fun fades, Help is available – It’s Okay to Ask for Help 




Treatment Provider News

Certification Updates  

Have you been wondering if you are still allowed to submit virtual learning CE Certificates for Certification renewal?  

The Certification Committee has made the following changes to the Certification Manual, which will be published in the 2023 edition: 

  • Increased online learning allowance, for initial certification and renewals, from 10 hours to now 30 hours as of January 1, 2023. 

  • Applicants applying for Level-I/II must continue with supervision until their application is approved and they are officially a Certified Gambling Counselor. 

Don’t forget this new option!  Are you planning to take the exam soon?  You can now choose between taking the Gambling Counselor exam or submitting a written Case Conceptualization that will be reviewed by a panel (see 2022 Certification Manual for details).

Welcome newest Certified Gambling Counselors and Supervisor! 

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS is due to all those who persisted in their goal of becoming Certified Gambling Counselors in 2022, despite the unusual challenges that the past few years have offered!  

Jan Kaschmitter, MS, LMHC, ACS, CAMS-II, WSCGC-I 

Free by the Sea, Ocean Park, WA 


reSTART Life, PLLC, Bellevue, WA 

Chante Ramirez, SUDP, WSCGC-II 

New Horizon Care Centers, Spokane, WA 

Also, congratulations and THANK YOU, to the newest Gambling Counselor Supervisor:  

Janai Felizardo, M.Ed, LMHC, SUDP, WSCGC-II, NCC 

Open Access Counseling, Tacoma, WA 


Interactive Directory and Map 

If you are a Certified Gambling Counselor in Washington state and have not yet completed the online survey yet, please do!  The data collected in this form is being used to create a new treatment provider map and interactive directory on the evergreencpg.org site.  It will also be used to update the Washington State Problem Gambling Helpline with more data on the gambling treatment services that are available.  




Connections podcast – latest episodes

Check out the latest episodes since our last newsletter: 


Connections Healthy gambling and Gaming Podcast - Season 3, Episode 10: a couple of brilliant “bookworms” and authors, Jody Bechtold and Dr. Stephanie Diez-Morel, share about some of the most influential authors and bodies of work that contributed to their understanding of problem gambling and gaming.  They also share about some of their own publications, what they read for fun, and make recommendations for books that make great gifts. 



Meet Preeti!

ECPG welcomed Preeti Shah to our team in August 2022 as a new Training and Event Coordinator.  Preeti comes to us with previous experience in the Hospitality Industry in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Included in her work was a position with the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry as an Officer for the Branding Committee Department, which was responsible for organizing and planning Trade Fairs and Meeting Conferences. 

Preeti joined us just weeks before our Fall Four Directions Conference.  Preeti was impressed with the breadth and depth of so many sessions and different topics – from culture and finances to the powerful presentations on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People, Two Spirit Issues, and History and Culture together with specific topics on Gambling Disorder Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.

“Learning how gambling and gaming can have different impacts in different people’s lives; from finances and family issues to social and public health issues, helped me see how many different areas of life ECPG helps people understand in relation to gambling and gaming,” said Preeti.  “Four Directions is about inclusiveness – everyone comes together from diverse backgrounds to discuss how to move ahead in our field.  I can feel it, but it’s hard to explain.  It’s coming together to share your feelings and your emotions, and you ‘educate’ – you share your struggles – you’re not the only one – there is a community to help you.  Four Directions is about respect.”

Preeti is no stranger to working with communities and individuals impacted by struggles and stigma.  When she was in Kathmandu, Preeti was involved with an organization that advocated and worked for a group known as “untouchables.”  

“One of our objectives was to empower them economically,” said Preeti.  “They were far behind when it came to economic standards because nobody wanted to reach out to them and help them.  They were basically ignored.  So, one of our objectives was to bring awareness and understanding that there is no such thing as an ‘untouchable.’  It was very fulfilling.”

Being a mom is also fulfilling for Preeti.  “As a mom, I enjoy the liveliness of our family.  It’s a beautiful, chaotic mess, but the unconditional love and trust from my children, and even their goofiness, makes me happy.”

Preeti, her husband, and two sons enjoy time at the ocean together.  While they have not yet been out of state for a vacation, they hope to visit Vancouver, Canada, in the near future. 

Preeti enjoys cooking and trying different recipes – something she has loved since she was a child watching her mother cook.  “Cooking is one way of showing love to my family and friends,” Preeti shared.

Her mother inspired not only Preeti’s cooking, but her life’s work.  “My mom has taught me that no job is ‘less,’ that you find the resilience to fight for what is right for you.”

Preeti is often inspired by those who, despite challenges in their own lives, are still doing something for the greater good of their community.  A favorite inspirational thought comes from John Lewis’s statement on “Good Trouble.”  Preeti paraphrases this way…

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, say something.  Do something about it.  Get in trouble.  Good trouble.” 




Now Hiring: Prevention and Community Engagement Specialist




Congratulations to Responsible Gaming Certified Operators


Angel of the Winds completed their Responsible Gaming Certification program in summer 2022 and were presented with their Certification Award at the Four Directions Conference after participating as a speaker at the Tribal Responsible Gaming Summit.  


Ilani completed their Responsible Gaming Certification program in October and received
their Certification Award.  



Prevalence Study Results Released


The 2021 Washington State Adult Problem Gambling Prevalence Study (PGTF) report was submitted to the Legislature and the State Problem Gambling Task Force in mid-October 2022.  Data analysis from the study support the recommendations included in the final PGTF report due to the Legislature in Dec 2022.  

The survey data was collected in Summer 2021, and participants were asked to reflect upon the previous 12 months. Here are a few highlights from the survey data: 

Among ALL adults (gambled or didn't gamble):  

  • 43.5% of ALL adults gambled during the report period (56.5% did not). This was lower than the rate during non-COVID years of 60-70%. 

  • For ALL adults, 1.5% were at moderate-to-severe risk for problem gambling/Gambling Disorder (DSM-5), and 7.5% were at low-risk for problem gambling. (Note: not all who are in the low-risk category will move into the moderate-to-severe risk, but some likely will. Early intervention services are important to provide for this 'at risk' population).  


Among Adults who Gambled (only): 

  • Among only adults who gambled, 3.5% were at moderate-to-severe risk for problem gambling/Gambling Disorder (DSM-5), and 17.2% were at low-risk for problem gambling. Taken together, 20.7% of all adults who gambled were at some risk for problem gambling.  

  • Among adults who gambled, 11.5% reported having gambled online, despite that this is an illegal activity in Washington State.

  • Adults who gambled online were at three times (3x) moderate-to-severe risk for problem gambling/Gambling Disorder, when compared with all adults who gambled (10.3% versus 3.5%). (Note: because online gambling is illegal in Washington State, no tax is collected to help pay for additional treatment that might result from this higher rate of problem gambling. And there's also no regulation, so no consumer protections are in place).  

You can find the full report here.


Results from the 2021 Healthy Youth Survey (based on one two-part question about gambling and problem gambling) 

  • Among all Youth, more than 9% reported gambling in the past year. Gambling is illegal for anyone under 18, and because Youth can't enter legal gambling venues, it's likely that most of the reported gambling was happening online, which is also an illegal activity that has no consumer protections that are required, nor funding for problem gambling treatment that Youth might need.  

  • Among Youth who reported gambling, 6.3% could potentially be at risk for problem gambling (based on reporting impact of gambling on relationships and/or school). 


Find the Healthy Youth Survey results here. 





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Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling
1821 4th Ave. E,  | Olympia, Washington  98506
360-352-6133 | info@evergreencpg.org

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