June 26, 2024 3 min read


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Kindbridge Research Institute Creates Military Gambling Awareness Committee

The Kindbridge Research Institute has announced the formation of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee, an initiative aimed at fighting gambling-related harm in the US military

The institute that is dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of mental health challenges within the military community, Kindbridge Research Institute, has announced the creation of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee (MGAC). 

The new committee is a groundbreaking initiative meant to address and mitigate gambling-tied harms for members of the US military.

MGAC Wants a “More Holistic Public Health Approach” 

The MGAC wants to improve the “welfare and operational readiness of service members by fostering an environment where awareness and proactive measures against gambling-related harms are ingrained in military life.”

In this regard, the committee is determined to work together with both the military and the Department of Defense to reveal policy gaps via a series of approaches based on evidence and develop guidance on possible adjustments.

The MGAC aims to embrace a more holistic approach to the way the Department of Defense currently tackles the public health topic in the military. 

This will be done by leveraging a variety of resources.

The institute’s executive director, Dr. Nathan D. Smith, called the formation of the committee “a pivotal step” in their “mission to support the mental health and well-being” of service members. 

MGAC Members Announced

The MGAC will boast a long list of professionals with unique insights and levels of experience in handling military gambling problems.

Senior military research associate at Kindbridge Research Institute, Mark Lucia, will chair the committee. 

Lucia, who holds a dual MBA/MPH from Johns Hopkins University, will bring his rich background as a Special Forces medic with multiple deployments throughout Europe to the table along with his expertise in tackling mental health challenges faced by the military. 

Doura-Schawohl Consulting LLC’s founder and chief executive officer, Brianne Doura-Schawohl, has been selected as a policy advisor

She was EPIC Risk Management’s vice president of US Policy and Strategic Development as well as legislative director for the National Council on Problem Gambling, and led the charge in Congress on gambling problems within the military for several years. She is also a “proud military spouse.”

BetMGM’s director of responsible gambling, Richard Taylor, has been elected as a gambling industry representative thanks to his military background and work with the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Committee

NASCAR’s managing director of sports betting, Joe Solosky, has been appointed the committee’s sports industry representative for his US Naval Academy graduate background and expertise in sports betting operations.

The MGAC will have Kinectify’s chief executive officer, Joseph Martin, as its technology/security expert, Invariant’s communications strategist, Caroline Ponseti, as the new public affairs advisor, and US Army vet and gambling addiction recovery advocate David Yeager as the educational program developer.

The MGAC announced it will keep extending its roster of experts, with special emphasis on the military and mental health sectors.

In March, DraftKings announced it would expand its collaboration with Kindbridge less than a year after the two parties first partnered. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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