Happy WordPress Anniversary To My Recovery Blog! Thank You, WordPress For Letting Me Share Hope and Support To Many Here For Nine Years! A Special Message From Stop Predatory Gambling. . .

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 9 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us “Bet Free Recovery Now!”

Keep up the good blogging.

🎉🏆🏆🏆🏆


NEWS FROM THE FOUNDER OF “STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING” ~ Catherine, 6 things to know about the fight from Stop Predatory Gambling. . .

Director’s Note:
We’re working on three key priorities in 2022. Priority #1 is to move beyond the coalition model that focused on our own individual states and regions and build a vibrant national organization with a national focus in its place.  

A national focus requires that we dramatically grow our organizational capacity and build a team committed to that national focus. For the first time in our history, we filled three critical roles on our team.


The first major addition was hiring part-time Director of Development, Kate Rozzi, to help us build a growing, financially-sustainable organization in the long term. Our second key addition was the addition of part-time Director of Education, Harry Levant, whose primary focus is to create high-quality content about the seriousness and urgency of our nation’s problem with commercialized gambling, which we can then widely distribute using both digital and traditional communication mediums. The third critical hire was our part-time Digital Communications Director, Eric Stamps, who will improve the way we are educating people using 21st-century technology now used to gather and absorb information. 

These three new team members join Debbie Blank, our Financial Manager for the past twelve years, who has wisely and carefully managed our small budget. Her work has earned us the annual GuideStar Exchange Seal awarded to organizations that have demonstrated nonprofit transparency and accountability. 

Priority #2 is to change how we measure our impact. Instead of looking at it from a lens of preventing predatory gambling expansion like we’ve done historically, we’re focused on “gaining traction” as an organization over the next 12 months. Traction is a sign that something is working. Simply put, “traction” equals growth. The way we are measuring our traction is by focusing on how many people we are reaching across the United States. Everything we’ve done over the past five months, and everything we do going forward through the end of 2022, will be guided by this mindset. 

Priority #3 is to spotlight how gambling advertising is out-of-control, and at the same time, invite Americans to join us who want to protect people from these predatory business practices. This is why we’re leading a national campaign targeting commercialized gambling advertising and marketing, with a special focus on how it is affecting kids. As part of the campaign, we’re creating and distributing high-quality content such as webinars, short videos, and op-eds, to educate the public about how gambling advertising is out-of-control and millions of kids are being hurt as a result.  


Our campaign also provides an opportunity for us to attract concerned citizens to engage with our organization by signing an online petition on our website calling for Congress to implement restrictions on commercialized gambling advertising to protect the public from further harm. It’s only because of the selfless financial generosity of our members that we are able to fund our work.

Thanks for making our mission one of your priorities in your life.                                                                 
Sincerely, Les Bernal, National Director

                                                                                                                      

Next Up Is A Man On A Mission:
Alex’s Story



My name is Alex Iler and I am a new Board Member of Stop Predatory Gambling. I would like to share the story of why I have become involved with this organization. I was a successful practicing criminal defense attorney in New Jersey for more than a decade when I first became an addicted gambler. My path toward destruction began with a big win at the blackjack table at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City.

Very quickly the Harrah’s staff went out of their way to lure me back with extremely generous comps and perks, the likes of which would make your head spin. I’ll save those details for a future story! As my gambling increased so did the depths of the oftentimes illegal perks they were using to get me to stay and return, including feeding back to me 30% of my losses on a daily basis.

As my gambling addiction grew, my personal life spun out of control and I eventually engaged in a series of thefts from my attorney trust account to try to chase and recover my losses. I was eventually arrested. I lost my law license, was divorced and sent to State Prison where I served approximately 18 months. All this while I had a six-year-old and two-year-old at home.

I am happy to say that despite this devastation I have nearly 10 years of recovery under my belt and have rebuilt or repaired my family relationships and most of my friendships. It is a difficult and dark disease to conquer. I don’t think the general public is aware of how insidious this disease is. My hopes are that through my work with Stop Predatory Gambling I can get this message out and help save at least one life before it’s too late. I look forward to serving.                                                                     

-Alex Iler, Rhode Island

Notes From The Front Lines
Thanks to the support of our donors, members, and successful collaborations across the country, we have accomplished much in our efforts to continue to reveal the truth about predatory gambling so far in 2022: We generated national headlines from our webinar we held with prominent experts to reveal the truth about commercialized gambling advertising.

We joined with a coalition of leading national organizations working on behalf of America’s youth and their families to send a letter to Congress calling for policy safeguards to protect children and teens online. One of our members launched a Stop Predatory Gambling Chicago chapter to oppose a casino project in that city.

We traveled to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville to educate thousands about the damage that commercialized gambling is having on families and communities across this country. We presented testimony on online gambling and commercialized sports gambling before the Minnesota legislature four times. Traveled to Philadelphia to do an interview with NBC National News about online gambling and sports gambling. Traveled to Chicago, Illinois to film an interview for a national documentary series on electronic gambling machines.

Traveled to Kentucky to speak before public officials at all levels of government about the impacts that predatory gambling is inflicting upon the citizens of the state. Met with leaders in Tennessee to help build a standing coalition in the state against predatory gambling.

We are looking forward to working with more of our committed advocates to offer support and guidance as you fight to protect our communities. Through this work as well as working with the media, we will continue to reveal the truth behind commercialized gambling operators.”

New To Our Team Harry Levant is a public health advocate from Philadelphia who serves as Director of Education. A gambling addict in recovery who made his last bet on April 27, 2014, Levant is determined to fight for a public health response to the dangerous expansion of commercialized gambling in America.

He is specifically concerned about the risk presented by the unprecedented partnerships between gambling companies, professional and collegiate sports, media titans, and state government. Eric Stamps joins the team as Digital Communications Director with many years of experience in digital advocacy. He has degrees in Media Design from the Academy of Art University and Full Sail University.

Eric has worked on numerous political campaigns over the past 6 years and has been a former candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates. He has been actively involved in efforts in Virginia to stop casinos and the expansion of gambling across the state. 

Kate Rozzi joins the team bringing over 20 years of communications, development, and advocacy experience with her as the Director of Development. She most recently served as the Vice President of Development at the Merrimack Valley YMCA. Prior to that role, she served as the Director of Development and Communication at the YMCA. She previously worked as a District Director at the Massachusetts House of Representatives and in numerous communications and marketing roles in the private sector.

WHY CONGRESS MUST ACT TO RESTRICT GAMBLING ADVERTISING



Throughout the country, families gather to watch their favorite teams battle it out for wins and championships. Instead of being bombarded with three-pointers, grand slams, and touchdowns, fans are bombarded with flashy ads promising easy access to free bets. Access is immediate and as simple as scanning the QR code flashing across the screen. The ads focus on the free bets but not on the fine print that says your free money is a credit given to you after you spend thousands and thousands of dollars.

Read More About Why Congress Must Act & How You Can Help

Why Support Stop Predatory Gambling?

By choosing to support Stop Predatory Gambling today, you’re taking an active role in efforts to protect your community and its children from the poverty, addiction, and human suffering caused by the greed of big gambling operators.

Please visit  www.stoppredatorygambling.org to make a donation and learn about how you can get involved. You can join with our members who are revealing the truth behind gambling operators and take action to prevent more victims. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to educate, inform and take action! DONATE NOW








Special Webinar~News From Our Friends of Stop Predatory Gambling. Addressing The Huge Increase in Gambling Advertising Through Many Platforms. I’ve Registered & So Should You.

Special Webinar~News From Our Friends of Stop Predatory Gambling. Addressing The Huge Increase in Gambling Advertising Through Many Platforms. I’ve Registered & So Should You.



Invitation to “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Dangerous Threat to Public Health” panel discussion.


UPDATE: 02/05/22 ~ If you were unable to attend the event this past Wednesday, Feb. 2nd, 2022, you may now watch the video of what was discussed and much more!

Below is the link to watch yesterday’s important event “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Threat to Public Health” that featured Mark A. Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, and Harry Levant, Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling.

If you weren’t able to attend, it’s a must-watch Mark and Harry powerfully revealed the truth about what is really happening in our communities and across our country. After you watch it, I strongly urge you to share the video on your email list and your social media networks, inviting people to learn for themselves how serious the problem of predatory gambling has become.

I also strongly encourage you to share the video with every local, state, and federal official in your region, along with members of the local and state media.

The video is posted to our YouTube channel and can be watched here: https://youtu.be/12FtoYCE9jU


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As the Super Bowl draws closer and gambling companies further intensify their ongoing barrage of sports gambling ads targeted at the American people, I’m writing to invite you to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 12pm Eastern time for a national video webinar on what you need to know about the massive wave of sports gambling advertising and promotions spreading across the U.S.
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As the Super Bowl draws closer and gambling companies further intensify their ongoing barrage of sports gambling ads targeted at the American people, I’m writing to invite you to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 12pm Eastern time for a national video webinar on what you need to know about the massive wave of sports gambling advertising and promotions spreading across the U.S.

The event is for reporters, opinion leaders, public officials, and members of our national network to learn why sports gambling advertising and promotions are a dangerous threat to public health and the urgency for Congress to act.

The event is titled “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Threat to Public Health” and the panel will feature Mark A. Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, and Harry Levant, Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling. Brief background about each speaker is below.


Les Bernal
Les Bernal, National Director


The panel will begin promptly at 12pm Eastern and end by 1:30pm Eastern. I will serve as moderator. The event is free.

REGISTER to attend the video event by CLICKING THIS LINK. 

After registering, you will receive an email in your inbox with the link to watch the webinar. The video link can be accessed by clicking the button “View the event” and also can be found under “Additional Information” at the bottom of this post

No More Gambling Advertising Platforms Used By Minors



About the Speakers:

Mark A. Gottlieb is the executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, where he is also a lecturer and clinical instructor. Mark has focused his research and advocacy on tobacco litigation as a public health strategy for most of his career. His article, “Casinos: An Addiction Industry in the Mold of Tobacco and Opioid Drugs” (co-authored with Daynard and Friedman) was recently published in the University of Illinois Law Review. You can read his article here.

Harry Levant is the Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling and a public health advocate from Philadelphia. A gambling addict in recovery who made his last bet on April 27, 2014, Levant is dedicating his professional work to helping people and families to overcome struggles with gambling addiction and other substance disorders. In his role as an advocate, Levant will graduate from La Salle University with a Master’s in Professional Counseling in May 2022.

He is a member of numerous professional organizations including Chi Sigma Iota National Honor Society for Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. He also earned a law degree from Temple University Law School.

It is only because of the selfless financial generosity of our members that we are able to fund important events like this national webinar. If you support our mission to reveal the truth behind commercialize​d​ ​gambling operators to prevent more victim​s​, ​​please ​​become a member of our national network by making a gift of any size you can afford today.

Thank you.
Les Bernal
Stop Predatory Gambling


Stop Predatory Gambling

Who We Are —

– A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national network of citizens and organizations across the U.S. revealing the truth behind gambling operators to prevent more victims.

– By choosing to support Stop Predatory Gambling today, you’re taking an active role in efforts to protect your community and its children from the poverty, addiction, and human suffering caused by the greed of big gambling operators.

Please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, consisting of citizens of all political stripes with members from all 50 states.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org