Turfway Park, in cooperation with the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, will host one of five training sessions across the state to help health professionals and racetrack, casino, and lottery personnel recognize and assist people whose interest in gambling has become a gambling problem.
"As gambling continues to expand, more people will seek help for gambling addiction, either for themselves or family or friends," said KYCPG executive director Mike Stone, who will attend the Turfway session. "There is a current shortage of individuals trained to help addicted gamblers. The free Responsible Gaming Education Week training programs help address this need."
The session at Turfway is scheduled for Wednesday Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held in the 5th floor Racing Club.
The faculty for the sessions are:
--Dr. Curtis L. Barrett, professional adviser to the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling and professor emeritus at the University of Louisville
--Dr. RonSonLyn Clark, senior director of substance abuse services at River Valley Behavioral Health of Owensboro, Ky.
In addition to health professionals, representatives of the area's gaming industry also are expected at Turfway, including:
--Chip Polson, vice president of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation;
--Marty Hammons, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming;
--Joe Barrett of Belterra Casino Resort;
--Chip Bach, general manager of Turfway Park;
--Robert Wamsley, regulatory compliance officer of Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati;
as well as members of the Turfway Park management staff.
Registration is required but there is no charge to attend. Deadline to register for any of the five sessions is July 31. To register or for further information, e-mail Mike Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (502) 223-1823.
The continuing education sessions are part of Responsible Gaming Education Week, a coalition effort involving the gaming industry, gambler counselors, state agencies, and the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling to raise awareness of pathological gambling, increase services for addicted gamblers, and promote responsible gaming practices.
In addition to training counselors, the Responsible Gaming Education Week Coalition also addresses the issue directly with gamblers, whose addiction is often hidden. To make it easier for gamblers and others to find help, the 2013 Coalition developed a new website, kygamblinghelp.org. A promotional poster and rack card accompanying the website will be unveiled during the session at Turfway Park.
Members of the media are invited to Turfway at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 7 to speak with Dr. Barrett and industry representatives and attend the poster unveiling.
Four other training sessions will be held in Kentucky: Pikeville (Aug. 5); Louisville (two sessions on Aug. 6); and Hopkinsville (Aug. 8). Barrett will teach the sessions at Turfway and in Louisville, while Clark will present in Pikeville and Hopkinsville.