Licking student wins first-place, $2500 scholarship from the Missouri Gaming Association

Licking student wins first-place, $2500 scholarship from the Missouri Gaming Association

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Malachi Antle of Licking, MO, a 2023 graduate of Licking High School, is one of four students in Missouri to win the 27th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri. The Missouri Gaming Association awards one $2,500 scholarship and three $1,500 scholarships each year. Ass the first place winner, Antle will receive a $2,500 scholarship towards tuition at the State Fair Community College, where he plans to study to become either a physical education or history teacher.

Antle’s winning essay titled “Under-Age Gambling” discusses how the accessibility of electronic gambling has led to a rise in youth gambling. Antle also designed a poster titled “Effects of Under-Age Gambling” that was displayed at school to bring awareness to his peers.

“With advances in technology, the access to gambling for youths whether through apps, video games or the internet is easier than ever before,” said Antle. “These different platforms also directly target young audiences often in a covert manner, leading to a variety of social and behavioral impacts.”

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. The scholarships are jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select.

The 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 January or February to help educate other students.

“The Missouri casino industry is dedicated to education in our state, both through the education funding from gaming tax revenues and through awareness efforts like Project 21,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association.  “Young people are influenced mostly by what they hear from their peers, so Project 21 encourages students to learn about the issues of underage gambling and to share that information with their classmates.”

The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry. Founded in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association works to promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. The MGA and its casino company members sponsor year-round responsible gaming programs including the 1-888-BETSOFF crisis line and referral service, Project 21 scholarship competition, and Responsible Gaming Awareness Week. For more information, visit


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