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The nonprofit Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey’s upcoming 40th statewide conference will feature a keynote address on “Understanding Gambling-Motivated Crime,” by Michelle Malkin, an assistant professor at East Carolina University’s Department of Criminal Justice.

The daylong conference takes place Friday, Sept. 23 at the Conference Center at Mercer, on the campus of Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the conference, whose theme this year is “Problem Gambling: Be Informed – Be Empowered.”

Dr. Malkin, who has done extensive research on the experiences of people with a history of problem gambling and crime, will include in her presentation suggestions for counselors whose clients may be involved in gambling-related criminal activity.

The conference’s three plenary sessions include a panel discussion on “The Voices of Recovery,” featuring former CCGNJ Executive Director Arnie Wexler, his wife, Sheila W., and Steven Block and Gloria B. The panel will examine the barriers or difficulties in reaching out for help, the turning points that made them seek help, the realization that recovery is something one cannot do alone, and, finally, what has worked for them during their journey.

Dr. Vivien Anthony, assistant professor in the Rutgers University School of Social Work, and Jackie Stanmyre, assistant director of the Center for Gambling Studies (CGS) in the Rutgers University School of Social Work, will discuss “Nuance of Mindfulness: Gambling Treatment Implications.”

Mindfulness-based interventions have become increasingly proven to support successful recovery. Aligned with the theme of this year’s conference, mindfulness techniques are tools of positive psychology, such that an empowered client population, through better understanding of self, can make better-informed choices regarding their gambling.

Ken Litwak, executive director of Gambling, Education and Community Relations at John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic City, will focus on “Getting to Current Thinking on Gambling and Trauma.” Mr. Litwak will explore the relationship between problematic gambling and traumatic occurrences and will discuss the current research on how gambling disorder and PTSD intersect.

To register for the conference, or to become a sponsor, go here.


About CCGNJ

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc., is a private nonprofit organization that for 40 years has provided information, education and treatment referral services to people affected by a gambling problem. CCGNJ’S primary purpose is to represent the best interest of problem and disordered gamblers and their families, recognizing that problem gambling is a treatable condition.