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The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention.

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Discovery Sessions Promise to Engage

Feb 01, 2013

Newscan (Vol 15, Issue 4)

Year after year, the quality, depth and breadth of the presentations at Discovery make them the conference’s main attraction. “There are a lot of forums for information in the RG world,” one attendee wrote in last year’s evaluation, “[...] but RGC's strength is staying on top of what's current.”

As the planning process nears completion, this year’s schedule promises to be no exception. “I see a lot of important and timely content going into this year’s presentation schedule,” says Jon Kelly, CEO of RGC and part of the Discovery selection committee, “I know people will get enormous benefit from the wealth of knowledge—and a few surprises.”

Look for the conference agenda to be published online next week. In the meantime, here are just 3 of the session topics to look forward to:

Singapore’s Family Exclusions: When Loved Ones Intervene

A robust self-exclusion program, while not identical across jurisdictions, is a well established and generally accepted component of any responsible gambling program. But, the key word is: self. Typically, the only way (excluding banishment by the venue for criminal or other unacceptable behaviour) gamblers are excluded is if they do it themselves.

But what happens when a spouse, parent or employer is concerned about someone’s gambling? In most jurisdictions, that person’s feelings are attended to—staff are trained to be sensitive to loved ones—but there is little else to be done except provide them with information and referrals for help.

Not so in Singapore. Here, as mentioned in this April 2012 Newscan story on RG programs and gaming profits, families can apply to a government department to have a family member excluded.

Angelina Yeo, from Singapore’s Gambling Safeguards Division, will present the details of this involuntary exclusion program: how it works, the participant level and the overall reactions to it.

Into the Mix: Opening Up the Field to Other Behavioural—and Concurrent—Addictions

Gambling is not the only non-substance behaviour that has been called addictive. And it’s not the only one for which an increasingly wired world creates new opportunities for excess. Online gambling co-occurs with other problematic online behaviours, such as video gaming, Internet use, shopping, and sexual behaviour.

Problem gambling counsellors are in a unique position to assist clients with related behavioural addictions, due to the many similarities in neurology, symptoms and treatment. Nina Littman-Sharp, from the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, will place problem gambling in the broader context of behavioural addictions, and will discuss both common and unique characteristics of these excessive behaviours. She will outline commonly occurring concurrent disorders and use case examples to illustrate typical presentations and treatment approaches.

PlayOLG.ca: Online Play Meets Online Prevention

While much of the recent news in Ontario has been about where OLG will break ground on a new casino, another component of OLG’s modernization plan is progressing steadily: an iGaming site with online lottery, slots and table games.

Catherine Jarmain from OLG will present an overview of the player control tools and other RG features that will be integrated into the player experience at PlayOLG.ca. She will outline the RG considerations that have been implemented throughout every step of the process—from stakeholder engagement to vendor selection to policy development.

These are just some of the sessions to look forward to at Discover 2013. Next week, we will share more session descriptions, and the full agenda. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto April 14 to 16, 2013.