NATI Takes on Compulsive Gambling

13 July 2000
"Dedicated to the education, awareness, research and treatment of compulsive gambling issues," the North American Training Institute offers several programs designed to help compulsive gamblers and is developing curriculum that specifically assesses the online gambling industry.

The organization offers a number of classes and online information. Its most well-known course, "Counseling and the Compulsive Gambler," is a 60-hour class designed to train mental healthcare professionals--as well as social workers, clergy and even gaming organization employees--to better handle issues associated with compulsive gambling.

NATI also seeks to cover all age groups. It offers a program called "Gambling Away the Golden Years" for seniors and an online magazine, "Wanna Bet?", which is geared toward middle school children. "Wanna Bet?" tries to provide positive reinforcement to kids to prevent them from developing detrimental habits at a young age. The magazine, which receives hits from all over the world, is staffed by kid authors and artists and can be accessed from the NATI website.

Executive Director Elizabeth M. George says that NATI is currently developing programs specifically geared toward the online gaming industry. One concept being examined is the development of multimedia educational kits that are designed to educate gaming employees about responsible gambling. Two of the kits already exist, are nationally accredited and are used throughout the U.S. and Canada by such names as Harvey's and Grand Casino. George reports that NATI is working on making the kits relevant to the online gaming audience, though they are not being used by Internet gaming operators as of yet.

NATI, a non-profit organization in existence since 1988, is licensed to counsel by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as well as by the American Psychological Association. Their home site can be accessed at