JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI – Zachary Reger, a senior at Kirksville Senior High School, is one of seven students in Missouri to win the 17th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri.
Reger will receive a $1,000 scholarship for tuition at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he will major in journalism.
Reger produced a video titled “The Speculation Game” to educate youth and adults on the dangers of underage gambling. The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OONe6p1UUdg.
“I had a general knowledge of underage gambling and I’ve seen the negative effects,” Reger said. “But I was surprised to learn how widespread it is. Some activities that seem innocent on the surface can lead to major problems. Underage gambling is an issue we should be concerned about.”
The Project 21 Scholarship was developed to educate young people about the issues and dangers of underage gambling. In Missouri, it’s illegal for persons under the age of 21 to gamble in a casino. The competition is open to all Missouri high school seniors planning to attend an institution of higher education in the United States within four years of graduation.
Students were asked to create an essay/article, poster or video aimed at educating their peers about the illegality and dangers of underage gambling. The entries were published or viewed in the students’ high schools in February or March to help educate other students.
The Missouri Gaming Association awards $7,000 in scholarships each year, jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select.
“The Missouri casino industry is dedicated to education through awareness efforts like Project 21,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association. “Young people are influenced by what they hear from their peers, so Project 21 is a great way for students to learn and share information about underage gambling with their classmates.”
The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry and its related professionals. Formed in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association provides research and information to increase awareness of the economic benefits of Missouri’s casinos. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org.