Kindbridge Research Institute Announces Formation of Military Gambling Awareness Committee

Washington, D.C. – June 26, 2024 The Kindbridge Research Institute proudly announces the establishment of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee (MGAC), a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to addressing and mitigating gambling-related harms within the military community.

The MGAC aims to enhance 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. The committee will collaborate closely with the military and the Department of Defense to identify policy gaps through evidence-based approaches and offer guidance on potential adjustments. By leveraging data, programs, information, and other resources, MGAC seeks to improve the Department of Defense’s approach to gambling, ultimately advocating for a more holistic public health approach within the military.

“The establishment of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee marks a pivotal step in Kindbridge Research Institute’s mission to support the mental health and well-being of our service members,” said Dr. Nathan D. Smith, Executive Director of Kindbridge Research Institute. “By bringing together a diverse group of experts, we aim to identify and address the gaps in current policies and provide comprehensive solutions that will enhance the overall health and readiness of our military personnel.”

The MGAC boasts a diverse and highly skilled team of experts, each bringing unique insights and experience to tackle the issue of military gambling:

  • Chairperson: Mark Lucia, a Senior Military Research Associate at Kindbridge Research Institute, has a rich background as a Special Forces medic with deployments throughout Europe. His firsthand experience with the mental health challenges faced by military personnel led him to a career in military mental health research. Mark holds a dual MBA/MPH from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Policy Advisor: Brianne Doura-Schawohl, founder and CEO of Doura-Schawohl Consulting LLC, has over a decade of leadership in advocacy, public policy, and government affairs. Her extensive experience includes serving as Vice President of US Policy and Strategic Development for EPIC Risk Management and Legislative Director for the National Council on Problem Gambling. Brianne’s work spans international, federal, state, and local levels of government, and she continues to be a leading voice in problem gambling policy, having led the charge in Congress for many years on gambling issues within the military. Beyond her experience in military gambling policy, she is also a proud military spouse.
  • Gambling Industry Representative: Richard Taylor, Senior Manager of Responsible Gambling at BetMGM, has a unique career path from the U.S. Marine Corps to the gambling industry. His experience in responsible gambling is informed by his military background and his work with the American Gaming Association’s responsible gaming board. Richard emphasizes the importance of collaboration and communication in developing effective responsible gambling strategies.
  • Sports Industry Representative: Joe Solosky, Managing Director of Sports Betting at NASCAR, brings his experience from data distributor Sportradar and his military background as a U.S. Naval Academy graduate. His expertise in sports betting operations and his strategic vision for responsible gambling initiatives are invaluable to the MGAC.
  • Technology/Security Expert: Joseph Martin, CEO of Kinectify, is an expert in risk management technology and anti-money laundering practices. His career spans the gaming, banking, and cannabis industries, and he has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Department of State. Joseph’s focus on advancing technology to address gambling addiction is a key asset to the committee.
  • Public Affairs Advisor: Caroline Ponseti, a communications strategist at Invariant, leverages her Capitol Hill, trade association, and political campaign experience to create integrated communications campaigns that shift public perception and build relationships with important stakeholders. She previously led media relations for the American Gaming Association and served as press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. 
  • Educational Program Developer: David Yeager, an 11-year veteran of the United States Army and a gambling addiction recovery advocate, has firsthand experience with the challenges of gambling addiction within the military. He works as an intake specialist and gambling recovery coach at Kindbridge Behavioral Health and is committed to developing educational programs to support military personnel.

The committee will continue to expand its roster of experts, particularly in the military and mental health fields.

“Our military community faces unique challenges, and gambling-related harms can significantly impact the well-being and readiness of our service members,” said Mark Lucia, a Senior Military Research Associate at Kindbridge Research Institute and Chair of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee. “The Military Gambling Awareness Committee is committed to creating a proactive, informed environment where we can address these issues head-on, fostering a culture of awareness and support within the military.”

The MGAC is committed to aligning its efforts to support the Department of Defense in effectively addressing gambling-related challenges. With extensive connections across political, media, health, data, educational, operational, state, and athletic domains, the committee will focus on enhancing awareness, educating stakeholders, and promoting best practices. This approach supports mental health initiatives, reduces stigma, and advocates for meaningful policy changes to boost military readiness and cohesion.

For more information about the Military Gambling Awareness Committee or to get involved, please contact [email protected].

About Kindbridge Research Institute

The Kindbridge Research Institute is dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of mental health challenges within the military community. Through research, advocacy, and innovative programs, Kindbridge strives to improve the lives of service members and their families.

Media Contact

Patrick M. Eichner

Strategic Communications – Kindbridge Research Institute

[email protected]

Military Gambling Awareness Committee