Prior to the establishment of the NCRG in 1996, the field of gambling research was undeveloped and lacked a substantial number of peer-reviewed studies on gambling disorders. From its beginning, the NCRG was committed to reversing this trend, becoming the first serious funding source in the area of problem gambling research. The NCRG introduced a commitment to rigorous scientific standards into the field, including an insistence that, to be taken seriously, all research had to be peer-reviewed. As a result of this commitment, NCRG-funded studies have yielded more than 300 scholarly articles published in highly competitive, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
By bringing the issue to the forefront, the NCRG also has encouraged government institutions to make investments in pathological gambling research. In 1998, the National Institutes of Health began offering grants in the field, and NCRG-funded grants have helped researchers leverage millions of federal dollars for continued research on gambling.
With approximately one-third of the total amount of research on gambling disorders published between 1999 and 2003, much of what we know about gambling disorders today has been learned only in the past few years. This is due, in part, to the availability of funding from the NCRG, as well as from other sources, including the federal government. The NCRG is proud to have played a role in this dramatic increase of knowledge about the potential health consequences of gambling.