END Problem Gambling began in 2012 when therapist Pete Pennington was asked to lead a recovery program for people suffering from gambling addiction. Recognizing the need to counter the shame and stigma surrounding the issue, Pete set out to create “The Elephant Next Door,” an educational documentary addressing the widespread personal devastation caused by gambling problems.
While filming, Pete met Robert McGuigan, a father who had lost his son to a violent murder over a bet gone awry. Robert had dedicated himself to educating teenagers about the dangers of gambling. Sadly, he died from brain cancer shortly after meeting Pete. Robert’s dying wish was that his work to raise awareness of solutions to gambling problems would continue. Inspired, Pete picked up the torch.
To further this vision Pete recruited a diverse and talented board of directors in 2014. Together, they established The Elephant Next Door (The E.N.D.) as a non-profit in the State of Oregon. 2015 marked an exciting year of growth and expansion for the organization as it gained its 501(c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit status. In 2016, the Elephant Next Door changed its name to END Problem Gambling.