International Advisory Panel to Advise on Issues on Problem Gambling and Addictions

05 Dec 2007

The Ministry of Health (MOH), and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) have set up an International Advisory Panel (IAP) for the National Addictions Management Centre (NAMC) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). The aim of the Panel is to review and advise on prevention and control strategies required to address problem gambling and other addictions including drug, alcohol and behavioural addiction.

The IAP will be co-chaired by Professor Goh Chee Leok, Senior Consultant, Office of Director of Medical Services (MOH) and National Skin Centre; and Professor David Chan, Interim Dean, School of Social Sciences, and Professor of Psychology, Singapore Management University. Professor Chan is also the Chairman of the NCPG’s Research Sub-committee.  Eight overseas panel members will also be joining the Panel and their details are listed in ANNEX below. These international panel members were appointed because of their vast experiences and expertise in high-risk behaviours, like drug abuse, alcoholism and problem gambling. 

The IAP will convene in Singapore from 5 to 7 Dec 2007 to:

a) share insights on global trends and highlight critical issues in measures to address problem gambling and harmful addictions;

b) advise on how problem gambling and addictions prevention, management and treatment measures could be developed and improved in Singapore;

c) advise on research areas on problem gambling and addictions; and

d) advise on the infrastructural, manpower and clinical development of the proposed NAMC.

The panel will submit their recommendations to MOH and NCPG by end-December 2007.





Professor David Chan

Interim Dean, School of Social Sciences

Professor of Psychology

Singapore Management University 

Professor Goh Chee Leok

Senior Consultant

Office of the Director of Medical Services

Ministry of Health

Senior Consultant

National Skin Centre



Dr Alex Blaszczynski

Chair in Psychology

School of Psychology

University of Sydney


Dr Jeffery Derevensky

Professor and Director of Training in School / Applied Child Psychology and


International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours

McGill University


Dr Gracemary Leung


Psychological Services Unit

University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Dr Lori Rugle


Gambling Treatment Programme

Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centre


Professor Dwayne Simpson


Institute of Behavioural Research

Texas Christian University


Professor John Strang


National Addictions Centre

Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College, London)


Dr Samson Tse

Acting Director, Centre for Gambling Studies and

Associate Professor, Mental Health Development Programme

University of Auckland

New Zealand

Dr Rachel Volberg


Gemini Research Ltd.


Professor David Chan

Professor David Chan is the Chairman of NCPG's Research Sub-committee. He is currently Professor of Psychology and Interim Dean at the Singapore Management University's School of Economics and Social Sciences. Prof Chan is also Consultant to the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the Singapore Police Force, the Singapore Prison Service; as well as a Member of the National Youth Council's Advisory Panel on Youth Research. Prof Chan is elected Representative-at-Large executive committee member of the Research Methods Division of the Academy of Management, Editor or editorial board member of seven international journals and a recipient of numerous prestigious international scholarly awards.

Professor Goh Chee Leok

Professor Goh came to the National Skin Centre in 1988 and was its Medical Director for 14 years, between January 1990 and March 2004. He has been a part-time clinical teacher since 1981 and was appointed an Associate Clinical Professor in 1992 at the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Since January 2001, he has been Clinical Professor at the University. He was the Interim CEO of the National Kidney Foundation between July 2005-April 2006. He was also recently appointed Senior Consultant to the Office of the Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health.  Professor Goh was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2004 and the Public Service Medal in 2006. Professor Goh was Past President of the Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery of Singapore and also past president of the Environmental and Occupational Dermatology Society of Singapore. He has published more than 240 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a chapter contributor to numerous dermatology reference books and editor of several reference dermatology books including a recent atlas Asian Skin – A Reference Colour Atlas of Dermatology, published by McGraw Hill.

Dr Alex Blaszczynski

An internationally renowned and sought after researcher and clinician in gambling and problem gambling, Dr. Blaszczynski developed the pathways model of pathological gambling, which is often used and well-received in many areas. He was conferred the 2004 NCRG Senior Investigator Award by the National Centre for Responsible Gaming (United States). Dr. Blaszczynski holds positions as Chair in Psychology, School of Psychology, The University of Sydney; Head of Department of Medical Psychology, Westmead Hospital; and Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales, School of Psychiatry. In the course of his distinguished career, Dr. Blaszczynski has published more than 100 articles, papers and studies and also has founded several organisations, including the Australian National Council for Problem Gambling. His work has proved invaluable to furthering the understanding and treatment of pathological gambling and other compulsive behaviors.

Dr Jeffrey Derevensky

Dr Jeffrey L. Derevensky is Professor and Director of Training in School/Applied Child Psychology and Professor, Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. A child psychologist and highly regarded expert on youth gambling, he is the Co-Director of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours. Dr Derevensky is also clinical consultant to numerous hospitals, school boards, government agencies and corporations. He has published widely in the field of youth gambling and is on the editorial board of several journals. Dr Derevensky and his team have helped governments across the globe establish research priorities and have been instrumental in the development of responsible practices, treatment centres, prevention programmes and social policies.

Dr Gracemary Leung

Dr Gracemary K H Leung is currently Director of Psychological Services Unit, Department of Psychology, as well as Honorary Assistant Professor in the faculty of Social Sciences of Hong Kong University. She is an Honorary Fellow for the Hong Kong University’s Jockey Club Research Centre for Prevention of Suicide. She is also Honorary Consultant to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Even centre (TWGH), specializing in the treatment of compulsive gamblers.  Dr. Leung has over 30 years of experience in psychological research, and research in gambling-related issues, as well as in counselling problem gamblers. She has authored a book on Gambling – Causes, Consequences and Treatment (賭博 – 前因 . 後果 . 處理 ), which reviews the relevant research concerning this field as well as her own research on the assessment/treatment of compulsive gamblers.  Dr. Leung is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, a registered psychologist in Hong Kong and an Associate Fellow in both the British Psychologist Society and the Hong Kong Psychological Society.

Dr. Lori Rugle

Loreen Rugle, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who has focused on treatment and research of pathological gambling since 1984.  Currently, Dr. Rugle is Director of the Gambling Treatment Program at the Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Brecksville Division in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also clinical and research director for Trimeridian, Inc., a company dedicated to the treatment and research of problem and pathological gambling. She has participated in research on neuroimaging, pharmacotherapy and genetic studies of pathological gamblers. Dr Rugle has also been in a member of the Institute of Problem Gambling as a trainer, and has won numerous awards in gambling addictions research and treatment.

Professor D. Dwayne Simpson

Professor Dwayne Simpson is Director of the Institute of Behavioral Research (IBR) and the S.B. Sells Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Addiction Research at Texas Christian University. His research on drug addiction and treatment effectiveness (reported in over 300 publications, 12 books and special issues) includes several large-scale and longitudinal national evaluations. Over the past 15 years, he has focused on assessments of client functioning and service delivery process, and how these factors influence treatment engagement and retention rates, stages of recovery, and long-term outcomes. This work includes development of cognitive and behavioral interventions shown to enhance client services and improvements in program management. His interests have expanded to the study of organizational behavior and its role in transferring evidence-based innovations into practice in community-based treatment agencies as well as criminal justice settings.  Professor Simpson is an advisor to national and international research centers and government organizations that address drug abuse treatment and related policy issues, a Fellow in both the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society, and a member of the editorial boards for several journals.

Professor John Strang

Professor John Strang is Director of the National Addiction Centre in the United Kingdom (UK). One of the leading experts in addiction, Professor Strang influences policy at national and international levels as an advisor to the UK government. He is also Clinical Director of Drug & Alcohol Services, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Prof Strang has published over 200 articles in scientific journals, and edited four books on addiction. In his capacity as Consultant Advisor, he chaired the working group that prepared the “Orange Book” Guidelines published in 1999 by the Department of Health. His main interests are health service research, epidemiology, public policy, and opiate treatment.

Dr Samson Tse

Dr Samson Tse is Acting Director at the Centre for Gambling Studies and Associate Professor for the Mental Health Development Programme at the University of Auckland. He is also Director of the Centre for Asian Health Research and Evaluation, at the University of Auckland where he is also Associate Professor in Mental Health Development and a senior lecturer on the topic. A native of Hong Kong, Dr Tse’s interest in Asian social and health issues grew in 2002 when he moved to Auckland with his family. Dr Tse has been invited to join a number of government advisory committees In New Zealand on issues such as problem gambling and mental health workforce competence. Dr Tse has led three major gambling studies in New Zealand, including the psychosocial determinants of problem gambling, venue-based host responsibility and the effectiveness of intervention. Dr Tse’s key focus areas are in mental health, Asian health and problem gambling, in particular services, accessibility issues and culturally appropriate interventions.

Dr Rachel Volberg

An internationally renowned problem gambling expert, Dr Rachel Volberg has a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco. She has studied the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling, including its causes and social impacts. She has also authored or co-authored 37 research reports on the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in several states and provinces in the United States, and in foreign countries. Dr. Volberg served as President of the US NCPG from 2003 to 2006, after serving for ten years on the NCPG Board of Directors and for three years on the NCPG Executive Committee. She is currently Ex-officio member of the Committee. She is also President of Gemini Research, which she established in 1992, the only company that specialises in the study of gambling and problem gambling in the general population.

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