Don Feeney: What the Public Thinks (and Why it Matters)

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Don Feeney: What the Public Thinks (and Why it Matters)
Session 7A
Presented at the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, January 27-29, 2014

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  • And “someone else”
  • Note that these don’t necessarily have “right” answersPollster’s truism: Don’t underestimate public’s intelligence, but don’t overestimate their knowledgeOpinion: direction vs depth
  • Do they think of addictions as having common ground?
  • Paul Lauzon suggests that one reason is people saying “it can’t happen to people like me – I have willpower”
  • No demographic differences
  • We asked people if they knew where to get help. About a third think they would. Strongly agree only 12%. But do they actually know?
  • Services may or may not actually be available. Southerners least likely to endorse
  • You will notice that “pathological gambling” and “gambling disorder” didn’t come up
  • Note that all terms are two words, not like “alcoholism” or “depression”
  • Preference was strongest for men – women were also comfortable with compulsive gambling. Why not problem gambling? Trivial.Most participants were persuadable – they were pretty quick to abandon their biases
  • But not all – some were adamant about moral weakness and could not be persuaded otherwise.
  • T-shirt slogan – it’s easy to trivialize
  • But a few hold onto the belief that you could quit with enough mental disciplineBut awareness is low, compared to alcohol or drugs. Participants took a long time to formulate opinions, and were mostly easily changed.You need some degree of awareness for persuasive messaging to be effective
  • Graveyard poster
  • Next Ohio ATM
  • Next Ohio lost a bet (would normally show Game Sense)
  • ON condom ad next
  • Next AU Kid Bet
  • Back to more conventional – MN Cheating
  • Oregon set nextNext OR young males – more conventional
  • Which one do you like best?Which do you think the group participants liked best?It was a clear choice
  • Heavy, dark, emotional. No call to action. No hope. Some questioned numbers and discounted messageLeast effective message. Something you’d hear in health class, or that “your grandma would tell you” – lecturing. Some people are bad. Insulting, irritatingNo rational or emotional appeal. Particularly poorly rated by men. “Good luck with that, buddy”Play radio ad
  • Most of you will not be developing TV spots, but same principles hold for any communication. Press, physician, community group, maybe even one on one. Benoit Denizet-Lewis – America Anonymous (Read from book)We change one person at a time with one story at a time. It’s up to you.
  • Don Feeney: What the Public Thinks (and Why it Matters)

    1. 1. Mr. Don Feeney What the Public Thinks (and Why It Matters)
    2. 2. What the Public Thinks About Problem Gambling (and Why It Matters) Don Feeney Research and Planning Director Minnesota State Lottery
    3. 3. What do we need to know? • • • • • • • • • How does the public perceive addiction? Do they stigmatize addiction? Do they recognize gambling addiction? Do they understand the causes? Do they understand the solutions? Do they know where to go for help? Do they know preventative factors? What are they willing to do? What messages are credible and appealing?
    4. 4. Data Sources • Ipsos Reid US Express Omnibus Survey – + U.S adults – Internet sample – June 25-30, 2009, September 2011, June 2012, May 2013 • Ipsos Reid Survey – Telephone sample – 1000 U.S. adults – June, 2008 • Minnesota gambling surveys – – – – 2000+ Minnesota adults Telephone sample Taken 2003 through 2010 Taken by St. Cloud State University • Minnesota interviews/focus groups – Fall, 2011
    5. 5. DOES THE PUBLIC UNDERSTAND ADDICTION?
    6. 6. “…Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like addiction to drugs or alcohol” Neutral 15% Disagree 13% Agree 72% 0% 20% 40% 60% Source: Ipsos 9/11 survey of 1009 US adults 80%
    7. 7. What are the signs of a gambling problem? Unexplained absences Talks about gambling Borrows money Neglects family Spends all they have Emotional difficulties Preoccupation Gambles all the time Financial troubles 0% 20% 40% % of Ontario adults 60% Source: Turner et al (2005)
    8. 8. “What percentage of Minnesota adults have a gambling addiction?” 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 31% 21% 18% 14% 13% 4% 1% or less 2%-5% 6%-10% 11%-20% More than 20%on't know D Source: SCSU 4/04
    9. 9. IS ADDICTION STIGMATIZED?
    10. 10. Would you feel ashamed or embarrassed if a family member had … Used a wheelchair 2% 4% 6% Mental Illness 4% 12% 7 5 or 6 16% Alcohol addiction 17% 27% Gambling addiction 16% 29% Drug addiction 24% Sex addiction 25% 44% 45% 27% 29% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% % of adults answering 5, 6, or 7 on a 1 (not ashamed) to 7 (extremely ashamed) scale 51% 54% 60% Source: 2009 Voice of America Survey
    11. 11. More likely to develop gambling addiction Men 55% Women 34% High School 29% Seniors 28% Poor 45% Minorities People like me 34% 12% Source: 2009 Voices of America Survey
    12. 12. Less likely to develop gambling addiction Men 5% Women 16% High School 26% Seniors Poor Minorities People like me 25% 8% 12% 43% Source: 2009 Voices of America Survey
    13. 13. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE CAUSES?
    14. 14. Would you say that addiction to gambling is primarily …? 47% 32% 15% 6% A personal or moral weakness A medical problem Both Source: IPSOS 9/11 Something else
    15. 15. How likely is this to cause a gambling addiction? Percent saying “very likely” or “somewhat likely” 81% Having an addictive personality Not having enough willpower 73% Being around people who gamble a lot 73% Parent or family member who gambles 72% 51% Moral weakness Traumatic event in someone's life Person's genetics or other medical problem 42% 38% Source: Ipsos US Express Omnibus, May 2013
    16. 16. “Controlling compulsive gambling is mostly a matter of willpower” 55% Agree Disagree 23% Neutral 21% 0% 10% 20% 30% Source: Ipsos-Reid 2012 40% 50% 60%
    17. 17. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE SOLUTIONS?
    18. 18. How successful is this as a solution to a gambling addiction? Percent saying “very successful” or “somewhat 81% 79% 79% 75% 68% Participation in Gambler's Anonymous Counseling with someone in recovery Support from family Treatment by a trained professional Abstinence from gambling 55% 46% 44% 43% Limiting their access to money Counseling with a religious leader Education about gambling, such as… Talking to a financial counselor Medication 32% Source: Ipsos US Express Omnibus, May 2013
    19. 19. “…The majority of people who receive treatment for compulsive gambling achieve life-long recovery” Agree 31% Disagree 29% Neutral 40% 0% 10% 20% Source: Ipsos Reid 2012 30% 40% 50%
    20. 20. “When you hear the word „recovery,‟ as in „this person is in recovery from a gambling addiction,‟ what does it mean to you?” Don't know 4% Trying to stop Has gambling under control No longer gambles 54% 23% 19% Source: Ipsos-Reid 2012
    21. 21. DO THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO?
    22. 22. “If a friend or family member approached me with a gambling problem, I am confident I would know where to get them help” Agree 37% 43% Disagree Neutral 20% Source: Ipsos 2011
    23. 23. What would you do? Refer to GA Urge self-control Call help line Talk to them Clergy Physician Gambling program Internet Nothing Friend or relative Mental health clinic Other Intervention Don't know Source: SCSU 2/06 24% 22% 19% 10% 9% 8% 5% 5% 5% 4% 3% 3% 1% 13%
    24. 24. “…Services to treat compulsive gambling are available in my community” Agree 42% Disagree 26% Neutral 32% Source: Ipsos Reid 2012
    25. 25. “…Services to treat compulsive gambling are available in my community” 55% Agree 35% Gamblers Non-gamblers 11% Disagree 20% 34% Don't know 45% 0% 10% Source: SCSU 2/09 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
    26. 26. Who would you turn to if you or a friend had a gambling problem? Parent 68% Internet 22% Teacher 21% School counselor 17% Help line 17% Friends 11% Other 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Source: 4/08 MN DHS survey of 121 10th graders
    27. 27. Qualitative Research Findings Interviews Focus Groups
    28. 28. What should we call it? • • • • • • • Compulsive gambling Gambling addiction Weak willed gambling Treatable addiction Problem gambling Moral weakness Lifestyle choice
    29. 29. What terms describe the condition? • • • • • • • Compulsive gambling Gambling addiction Weak willed gambling Treatable addiction Problem gambling Moral weakness Lifestyle choice
    30. 30. What is the best term? • • • • • • • Compulsive gambling Gambling addiction Weak willed gambling Treatable addiction Problem gambling Moral weakness Lifestyle choice
    31. 31. “Compulsive gambling is not serious, and it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s like going to the bar and enjoying pulltabs and beers several times a week. It becomes a problem when the player has to hit the ATM too often.”
    32. 32. Consensus opinion • Starts as a lifestyle choice • Becomes uncontrollable due to financial losses or pleasure of win • Ultimately becomes an addiction • This addiction is treatable
    33. 33. Key Findings • Opinions are poorly formed and weakly held (mostly) • Problem gambling is accepted as a serious issue • But it is often seen as a moral weakness • It is commonly stigmatized • It happens to “other” people • The public is skeptical about treatment effectiveness
    34. 34. Key messages • Problem gambling can affect anyone, regardless of age or social/ethnic class • Problem gambling is not a moral weakness. It is a medical condition. • Problem gambling is preventable • Treatment is available
    35. 35. Key messages 1. 2. 3. 4. Gambling addiction is a serious problem with serious consequences. Thousands of people suffer from this addiction, which can lead to devastating financial problems, neglect of family and work, criminal activity, and even suicide. Many more suffer as the result of the gambling of a loved one. Problem gambling is a treatable condition, and services are available in your community. While recovery takes time, patience, and support, people suffering from this condition are able to reclaim their lives. Problem gamblers are young, old, male, female, rich, poor and come from every ethnic background. They are not simply morally weak, and are not bad people. They are good people with a bad problem. Breaking the cycle of gambling addiction is critical to a healthy society. It is far less costly for society to treat gambling addictions than to deal with the consequences of leaving the addiction untreated.
    36. 36. Key messages 1. 2. 3. 4. Gambling addiction is a serious problem with serious consequences. Thousands of people suffer from this addiction, which can lead to devastating financial problems, neglect of family and work, criminal activity, and even suicide. Many more suffer as the result of the gambling of a loved one. Problem gambling is a treatable condition, and services are available in your community. While recovery takes time, patience, and support, people suffering from this condition are able to reclaim their lives. Problem gamblers are young, old, male, female, rich, poor and come from every ethnic background. They are not simply morally weak, and are not bad people. They are good people with a bad problem. Breaking the cycle of gambling addiction is critical to a healthy society. It is far less costly for society to treat gambling addictions than to deal with the consequences of leaving the addiction untreated.
    37. 37. Thank you! donf@mnlottery.com
    38. 38. Session Evaluation
    39. 39. 1. The information presented was useful to me a. b. c. d. e. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
    40. 40. 2. The information presented was clear and organized a. b. c. d. e. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
    41. 41. 3. I would recommend this session to a friend/colleague a. b. c. d. e. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
    42. 42. 4. I learned something new a. b. c. d. e. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
    43. 43. 5. The presenter(s) was/were engaging a. b. c. d. e. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
    44. 44. 6. Please rate this session overall a. b. c. d. e. Very good Good Average Poor Very poor

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