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June 18, 2007


Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738

Program contact: Bob Miller 503-945-6185


New video highlighting gambling’s risks to youth available free to teachers, youth leaders; will be shown to state problem-gambling coordinators Thursday in Salem

[Note: Reporters may obtain video copies by calling 503-945-5738.]


A new video that takes a fast-moving, often humorous approach to highlighting the risks of youth gambling is being made available free to middle school teachers and other youth leaders by the Oregon Department of Human Services.


The 8-1/2-minute video, “Teen Gambling: It’s a Risky Deal,” features catchy graphics, interviews with middle-school students from Burns, Eugene, John Day and Ontario, and two Oregon adolescent actors as anchors.


“Although students who gamble often start in middle school, most schools don’t address gambling as part of their health curriculum,” said Bob Nikkel, Oregon Department of Human Services assistant director for mental health and addictions. “This short video will give those who work with youth a chance to engage them and start the discussion about gambling’s potential risks.”


State problem gambling coordinators from across Oregon will view the video for the first time Thursday at 2:45 p.m. during a Salem conference at Best Western Black Bear Inn, 1600 Motor Court, N.E. Beginning at 1 p.m., participants also will hear three speakers address DHS’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery, which sponsors the problem gambling services program, and lottery marketing.


The video features five “myth buster moments” that debunk misconceptions such as luck and skill can make you a consistent winner, only certain types of people become addicted to gambling, and gambling with friends or “free” online gambling is always harmless.


The 2006 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey showed that eighth- and 11th-graders who gamble also are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol, carrying a handgun or attacking someone with intent to inflict harm.


Nikkel said the program has contracted with Massachusetts-based Gemini Research to survey Oregon adolescents on their gambling behaviors and parents on what they believe those behaviors are.


Copies of the video will be distributed to Oregon middle schools. Teachers, parent groups and leaders in boys and girls clubs, the faith community, scouts, after-school programs and other youth organizations also may obtain copies by contacting DHS’s Greta Coe at greta.l.coe@state.or.us or 503-945-6187.


The video and accompanying resource guide were produced by Allied Video Productions and Marcia Martin and Associates in Salem.


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