The National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling
National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion
SCHOOLS, EDUCATION, YOUTH AND GAMBLING
Many studies in the U.S. and around the world have revealed that young people are two to four times more likely to become gambling addicts than adults.
CURRICULA / EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS:
Gambling destroys the work ethic, which is the foundation of our educational system. We need to reinforce the work ethic message, not undermine it.
"NCALG AND NCAGE" are not endorsing any so-called "gambling" or "antigambling" curriculum.
In particular, the Harvard developed curriculum, "Facing the Odds. The Mathematics of Gambling and Other Risks" gets our seal of "DISAPPROVAL". The connection of the developer, Howard Shaffer, Ph. D, with the American Gaming Association (lobbying organization of the gambling interests) through its research arm, The National Center for Responsible Gaming, is a major area of concern. This curriculum is being embraced by well intentioned but uninformed educators and it is being promoted by the AGA. ANY material that has the endorsement of and is being pushed by the gambling interests should raise questions of credibility for all in the field of education.
"Winning" at gambling is really a very random happening, not one predictable with "odds". The "probability" is that one will lose. Those concepts do not require a curriculum.
"Gambling neutral" individuals who are funded by the gambling interests by that action have taken a position that is no longer neutral.
Gambling "neutral" material is NOT appropriate in our schools. Most districts would not allow tobacco, alcohol, or other drug "neutral" material to be used for instructional curricula.
We recommend that schools and educators develop policies to ban the purchase or use of any materials funded by or produced by gambling interests or organizations
Schools that are state sponsored or receive governmental aid of any type should not be offering "educational" courses on gambling specific business or "hospitality" practices.
ACCESS TO STUDENTS:
NO ONE connected with the gambling interests should be allowed to address students and especially NOT on the gambling issue. The schools should have ironclad controls to prevent students from gambling on the Internet.
Gambling money should never be "earmarked" for education. This includes "state run" or "state cuts" of gambling proceeds. "Earmarking" of gambling funds for education has too often turned educators into lobbyists for the gambling establishment. If "earmarking" is already being done, our recommendation is to phase out dependence on gambling money for education taking no longer than four years.
GAMBLING AND PSEUDO GAMBLING ACTIVITIES:
Schools and school related organizations should not be participating in gambling or pseudo-gambling activities for any purposes. This includes any fundraising and the "Casino or Las Vegas Nights" done with "play" money at post prom, senior nights or other occasions. This tends to glamorize gambling and minimize the negative and even dangerous effects of this addictive activity.
ADVERTISING and DONATIONS:
Gambling "businesses" should be excluded from advertising in any school related materials or any other public buildings where children have access. This includes but is not limited to school newspapers, programs for school or other youth extra-curricular activities, scoreboards, book covers, equipment, school signage boards, etc.
Just as many schools and youth centered groups have policies banning donations from alcoholic beverage and tobacco companies, "donations" from gambling interests should not be accepted either.
CREDIBILITY AND SUCCESS:
It is imperative to separate the promoters of gambling from those working on research, prevention, intervention and treatment for credibility purposes as well as for success in these areas. When the gambling "industry" funds the research and treatment, public relations takes precedence to success and objectivity.
SCHOOL RELATED GROUPS:
No school related groups including teacher's or parent / teacher organizations should hold meetings or fundraising activities at any gambling facility.
Gambling is the fastest growing addiction among our youth. ANY decisions regarding gambling, youth and education need to be made erring on the side of caution.