Gambling study seeks rural participants |

Gambling study seeks rural participants

Kurt Hildebrand
Nevada Appeal News Service

A university study about people who want to overcome gambling problems is seeking volunteers from rural Nevada.

The study is being conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute along with Harvard Medical School.

Professor Bo Bernhard said he is seeking volunteers willing to participate in three 15-minute phone interviews about their gambling.

Bernhard is the director of gambling research and the chief investigator for the study.

He is seeking 60 volunteers from areas of the state that are typically overlooked in studies.

“We want to hit as many corners of the state as possible,” he said. “But it is much more difficult than in Las Vegas or Reno where we could just put a flier up and have plenty of volunteers. We are figuring out ways to reach out to populations that often slip through the cracks.”

The gamblers the study is seeking are those who realize their behavior may be causing problems, but not necessarily those who are out of control.

“We’re not necessarily looking for people who are pathological,” he said. “We’re looking for people who want to overcome their own problems, but who aren’t necessarily going into treatment for it. In a lot of jurisdictions, self-help or interventions help people overcome gambling problems. A good percentage of the rural population lives in places where there aren’t large-scale treatment centers to help people out.”

Bernhard said the study is designed so people can participate from home at their convenience.

“All the information we gather is completely confidential,” he said. “Volunteers can refuse to participate or answer any questions.”

With good participation, Bernhard thinks the study can say something about life in rural Nevada.

Study participants who qualify will earn $100 for their participation.

A law passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2005 raises money to study problem gambling. The bill is up for renewal in the 2007 session.

“These funds have already provided a strong foundation in our efforts to help the state’s problem gamblers,” Bernhard said. “We look forward to continuing research that will help us understand the complexities of this disorder.”

Join the gambling study

What: University study about rural Nevadans who want to overcome gambling problems

Contact: UNLV Professor Bo Bernhard at (702) 774-2222 or e-mail