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Ohio Recognized with Five Awards at 2023 NCPG Annual Conference

Published: August 3, 2023

Leading the Way in Washington D.C.

Last week, Ohio for Responsible Gambling and its partners from around the state traveled to Washington D.C. for the 2023 National Conference on Gambling Addiction and Responsible Gambling, hosted by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).

With an opportunity to share our initiatives in front of thought leaders and experts from around the nation, we were honored to help showcase the “Ohio Model”, as our state not only had a wide array of presenters selected to share the ways we are collaborating to address problem gambling in our state, but also had the honor of being recognized for five awards at the 2023 National Awards luncheon for our exceptional work in the field.

Awards & Recognition

Ohio for Responsible Gambling was honored to receive the 2023 Corporate Public Awareness Award for our Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline Campaign, titled Make The Call (a sub-campaign of Get Set Before You Bet), which utilizes testimonials of real Ohioans in recovery to help break the stigma of asking for help by showing that those at risk are not alone in their struggle, urging concerned individuals who may be at risk to connect with the support they may need. To access our helpline campaign toolkit to use in your next outreach efforts, be sure to visit the Before You Bet Community Toolkit and reach out to for any guidance on co-branding or modifying the materials.

Ohio for Responsible Gambling’s second achievement was the 2023 Media Award, which recognizes outstanding original reporting on problem gambling. This was awarded for our earned media efforts with Irvin PR, which was the story of Steve Kapela on WNWO-TV Toledo, titled “Former gambler bringing awareness to problem gambling month.”

We would like to thank the Zepf Center in Toledo, Ohio and Steve Kapela (Manager of Gambling Treatment and Prevention Services at Zepf Center), who were critical in the success of both the Make The Call campaign and our PR story that was recognized at the national level. Both of these initiatives would not have been made possible without their help in bringing awareness around the support services offered in their local region, as well as throughout the state. 

Ohio for Responsible Gambling’s third award was the 2023 Corporate People’s Choice Award, which recognizes an outstanding problem gambling or responsible gambling-related awareness message for the sports betting focused sub-campaign Pause Before You Play. This was featured during the conference and was voted as the best print campaign and creative strategy amongst the 500+ attendees.

Ohio’s fourth award was shared by The Ohio Lottery Commission and the Ohio Casino Control Commission, who were honored with the 2023 Corporate Website Award for Time Out Ohio, which is the new online platform that allows individuals to voluntarily agree to refrain from accessing Ohio’s casinos, Ohio’s racinos, and Ohio sports gaming for one year, five years, or for their lifetime, helping them abstain from betting.  The program has evolved to accommodate Ohio’s changing landscape of sports gaming by offering resources such as Gamban, which blocks access to betting websites and apps. 

Presentations & Leadership

Ohio was also honored to be selected to present on a multitude of initiatives, subject matters, and thought leadership topics, demonstrating our leadership in the fields of gambling addiction and responsible gambling. Presenters included:

  • Scott Anderson, LCDC II, Problem Gambling Specialist, OhioMHAS
  • Cory Brown MPA, OCPC, ICPS: Manager of Problem Gambling Services, Ohio Casino Control Commission
  • Michael Buzzelli MA, MPH: Associate Director, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio
  • Alessandro Ciaffoncini: President, Origo Branding Company
  • Susan Diamond: Responsible Gambling Program Coordinator, Ohio Lottery
  • Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, MPA, OCPC, Prevention & Problem Gambling Chief, OhioMHAS
  • Kelly Garza LSW, LCDC III-GAMB, OCPC, TTS: Prevention Services Coordinator, Zepf Center
  • George Hicks OCPC, ICPS: Executive Director, Arkbuilders
  • Nora Larson, M.Ed CHES®: Prevention Specialist, Recovery Resource Center
  • Nabil Pervaiz: Supervisor of Prevention Services, Recovery Resources
  • Abdallah Mobaideen: Editor in Chief, Ohio in Arabic Foundation
  • Ala Shaikhkhalil, MD: Board Member, Ohio in Arabic Foundation

Remembering a Leader in Prevention: Dr. Amanda Burke

Dr. Amanda Burke (Associate Professor, Kent State University) who was a leader in the field of prevention, did her work with passion, humility, and enthusiasm. She helped inspire so many others to follow in her footsteps and lead by example.

That is why we were so grateful that she was honored at the national level for the 2023 Jim Wuelfing Annual Award for Prevention (Awarded Posthumously). Dr. Amanda Burke was a trailblazer in the field and provided a lasting legacy that will not soon be forgotten. We can all hope to use the example she has set, as we continue our important work in the fields of prevention and problem gambling.

It was an honor to share our work on a national level with our peers in the world of prevention, treatment, and recovery, allowing us to elevate our mission, as well as learn from others around the nation how we can continue to spread awareness and engage different populations on the important topics facing the health and well-being of Ohioans.

To learn more about responsible gambling and access resources to support your next outreach and educational initiatives, please visit and

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