That company was engaged to conduct a number of research projects, most notably a series of focus groups and random sample telephone surveys.
The Fund also contracted with the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, headed by the respected Dr. Paul Polzin, to develop a study of the gaming business and its economic impacts in Montana.
That research yielded results that led to a number of initiatives being launched by the Fund, primarily projects to help the few who develop problems controlling their gambling activities.
A case for liaison and assistance to the Montana Council on Problem Gambling was established, which resulted in licensed businesses contributing heavily to the independent council's support. The council provides group therapy treatment programs, training opportunities for licensed clinicians, and public awareness and education about the potential for gambling problems.
Likewise, an upgraded telephone hotline operating 24-hours-a-day and seven-days-a-week has been established and funded to provide trained counselors and helpful information to those experiencing gambling problems.
Extensive public information campaigns were conducted to inform the public about the availability of these services including the printing and distribution of over 25,000 posters, production and frequent airing of television commercials, yellow-pages advertising, billboards, and other printed literature which was produced and distributed.
Further research was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the public information campaigns, and resulting adjustments were made to assure the greatest possible public reach.
As of December, 2004, no further research projects have been scheduled.