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

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APRIL 18-20, 2017
Toronto Marriott Downtown
Eaton Centre Hotel


Here are the speakers who joined us at Discovery 2017. For their session descriptions, please see the agenda

Some presentations are now available for download.

  • iris-balodis_Disc2017

    Iris M. Balodis, Ph.D.

    Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, McMaster University

    Iris Balodis is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences in the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research at McMaster University.

    Iris’ research targets understanding the motivational processes influencing maladaptive decision-making. Her investigations focus on how an individual forms preferences, assesses options and makes choices. This research approach examines constructs such as impulsivity, thought to underlie many aspects of pathologic behaviour.

  • roy-baumeister_Disc2017

    Roy Baumeister, Ph.D.

    Roy F. Baumeister is professor of psychology at the University of Queensland as well as the Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. Roy's research spans multiple topics, including self and identity, self-regulation, interpersonal rejection and the need to belong, sexuality and gender, aggression, self-esteem, meaning, and self-presentation.

    In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements. He is the co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (with John Tierney), a New York Times bestseller. 

  • judson-brewer_Disc2017

    Judson Brewer, MD, Ph.D.

    Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical School

    Judson Brewer is Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He also is adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Judson has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for addictions. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness and is currently translating these findings into clinical use. 

    He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, presented to the US President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, and trained US Olympic coaches. He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

  • cate-carr_Disc2017

    Cate Carr

    Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing at the Department of Justice & Regulation, Victoria State Government

    Cate Carr is the Executive Director of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing at the Department of Justice & Regulation. Cate was instrumental in the design and delivery of YourPlay, Victoria’s networked state-wide voluntary pre-commitment scheme for gaming machines. She is currently overseeing policy reviews and licensing processes for Victoria's major gambling licences and creating a new tri-code integrity body for the Victorian racing industry. 

  • patricia-conrod_Disc2017

    Patricia Conrod, Ph.D.

    Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal

    Patricia Conrod is a registered clinical psychologist with the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec, professor of psychiatry, Université de Montréal and visiting fellow in the Addictions Department, King’s College London. Her research team is based at the CHU Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital Centre in Montreal.

    Her experimental research focuses on factors that make people more susceptible to seek out behavioral reinforcement from drugs of abuse. More recently, her research findings have led to the development of new approaches to substance abuse treatment and prevention.
  • anne-counter_Disc2017

    Anne Counter


    Anne Counter is Director of Information and Referral Services at ConnexOntario Health Services Information. ConnexOntario operates the Drug and Alcohol Helpline, Mental Health Helpline and the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline. Anne joined the organization in 1996, after 10 years working in community corrections.

  • jeff-derevensky_Disc2017

    Jeff Derevensky, Ph.D.

    International Centre for Youth Gambling problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University

    Jeffrey L. Derevensky is Professor, and Director of Clinical Training in School/Applied Child Psychology, Chair of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology; and Professor, Department of Psychiatry at McGill University where he is the Director of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors.

  • simo-dragicevic_Disc2017

    Simo Dragicevic


    Simo is CEO of BetBuddy, a regulatory technology provider. He has published research in leading journals and conferences, including ECAI (European Conference on Artificial Intelligence) and NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems). Simo is an Associate at the Research Centre for Machine Learning (University of London) and was named AMBA Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

  • robyn-filler_Disc2017

    Robyn Filler, MSW

    Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
    Robyn Filler is the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling Helpline Operations Program Director; she has been with the Association since 2007. The Program was founded in 2000 and currently answers a Problem Gambling Helpline for 17 states. She has personally answered over 3,000 calls from problem gamblers and their families.
  • Terry Finn

    Responsible Gambling Council

    Terry has been a member of the Responsible Gambling Council’s Board of Directors since 2004 and was appointed Chair in 2007. Terry is a senior account manager with The Computer Media Group in Ottawa. 

    Terry calls himself a recovering problem gambler, with 40 years experience. He started his gambling career at the age of 13 while working at a local racetrack, ending in 2000 when he finally quit and sought help.

  • Judith Glynn

    Judith Glynn, M.Sc.

    Strategic Science
    Judith Glynn is Principal, Strategic Science, providing social responsibility consulting in gambling, obesity and substance abuse. Judith has 25+ years experience spanning public policy, scientific research, and marketing/communications, with 18 years dedicated to the gambling field. She is advisor to Machines Research Oversight Panel, and Asia Pacific Association for Gambling Studies.
  • blaine-graboyes_Disc2017

    Blaine Graboyes

    GameCo, Inc.

    Blaine Graboyes is CEO of GameCo, Inc., inventor of the world’s first Video Game Gambling Machine (VGM), and CEO of The Gamer Agency, the premiere independent esports production company. Graboyes is an award-winning executive producer with more than twenty years of experience developing digital entertainment for world-renowned companies.

  • Hamlin Grange

    Hamlin Grange

    DiversiPro Inc.

    Hamlin Grange is principal consultant and president of DiversiPro, a diversity consulting firm based in Toronto. Hamlin is a diversity and inclusion strategist with nearly two decades of experience working with individuals, teams and organizations to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of a culturally diverse environment.

    He is a well-respected facilitator with keen insights into board governance, team dynamics, and intercultural competence. He is a board member of the Responsible Gambling Council.

  • jennifer-gregg_Disc2017

    Jennifer Gregg, M.A., C.C.C.

    BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program

    Jennifer Gregg is a current member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychological Association. She has been involved with the British Columbia Responsible and Problem Gambling program since 2000. Ms. Gregg currently works as a therapist within the program and is focused on utilizing Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT) and Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) with individuals, couples, and families.    

  • Sarah Harrison

    Sarah Harrison

    Gambling Commission (UK)
    Sarah Harrison became Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission in the UK in October 2015. She was a Senior Partner at Ofgem where she led the Sustainable Development Division. Before joining Ofgem in 2000 Sarah was the first Chief Executive of ICSTIS, the UK industry regulator for premium rate telephone services. Sarah is a Board member of the Association of Chief Executives and she was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to consumer protection.
  • bjorn-helge-hoffman_Disc2017

    Bjørn Helge Hoffman, M.Sc.

    Norsk Tipping

    Bjørn Hoffmann is one of the architects behind Norsk Tipping’s Player Card and ID solution. Bjørn is head of Norsk Tipping’s responsible gambling work and has had a leading role in developing the responsible gambling platform and mandatory loss limits.

  • david-hodgins_Disc2017

    David C. Hodgins, Ph.D.

    University of Calgary

    David C. Hodgins is a professor in the Program in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of Calgary. He is also a coordinator with the Alberta Gaming Research Institute. He conducts research into aspects of recovery from addictive behaviours. He is registered as a Clinical Psychologist in Alberta, where he maintains a private practice.

  • Jon Kelly

    Jon Kelly, Ph.D.

    Responsible Gambling Council

    Jon Kelly is a leading expert on player safeguards and problem gambling prevention. He is an advisor with the Responsible Gambling Council, where he was CEO from 1998 to early 2017. Jon has been invited to present at many conferences and seminars around the world. In 2011, Dr. Kelly was appointed to Singapore’s International Advisory Panel on gambling safeguards. Jon Kelly has an extensive background in public services as well as the private and non-profit sectors. 

  • james-mackillop_Disc2017

    James MacKillop, Ph.D.

    Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research, McMaster University

    James MacKillop is the Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research, Director of the Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

    James is also a senior scientist at Homewood Research Institute and holds adjunct appointments at the University of Georgia and Brown University. He conducts translational research on addiction, with emphases on alcohol, tobacco, and gambling addiction.

  • jean-major_Disc2017

    Jean Major

    Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
    Jean Major began his career in the Ontario Public Service in 1985 and as a regulator of charitable gaming in 1990. In 1995, Jean was appointed CEO of the Ontario Racing Commission and in 2004 was appointed CEO and Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), responsible for the regulation of all legal gambling, horse racing and alcohol.
  • Lia Nower, Ph.D.

    Center for Gambling Studies, Rutgers University

    Lia Nower is a professor and Director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the etiology and treatment of problem and pathological gambling and co-morbid addictive disorders and gambling-related policy issues. She is Co-Editor of International Gambling Studies and a member of the legislative and research boards and a clinical supervisor for the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington D.C.  

    A former criminal prosecutor, she serves as a forensic consultant in state and federal court cases involving gambling-related crimes. Current research includes developing a sub-group specific screening instrument for problem gamblers, exploring risk and resiliency factors among youth gamblers, and developing diversion programs for individuals charged with gambling-related crimes.

  • cathy-o-neil_Disc2017

    Cathy O'Neil, Ph.D.

    Cathy O'Neil was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then worked as a quantitative analyst for a hedge fund in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene. 

    Cathy is the author of the New York Times bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inquality and Threatens Democracy, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award.

  • catherine-paradis_Disc2017

    Catherine Paradis, Ph.D.

    Canadian Center on Substance Abuse
    Catherine Paradis is Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse (CCSA) where she provides leadership for the implementation and the evaluation of the National Alcohol Strategy. She is one of the experts responsible for the production of Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines. Before joining CCSA, as a Chief Researcher for Éduc’Alcool, she was responsible for all the research necessary to the development of social prevention campaign, information and education.
  • tomer-perry_Disc2017

    Tomer Perry, Ph.D.

    Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

    Tomer Perry is a research associate and postdoctoral fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He received his PhD in Political Science at Stanford University in 2016. Tomer's research focuses on political theory, focusing on global justice and democratic theory.

  • Glenn Pothier


    Glenn Pothier is the founder and president of GLPi — a strategy, facilitation and research-consulting firm focused on helping clients to operate successfully and communicate effectively in complex environments. Glenn is a leading strategic planner, communication and marketing consultant, facilitator and researcher. For over two decades, he has helped organizations develop new approaches, nurture ideas, and reposition themselves (and/or their initiatives) to meet the challenges of a changing operating environment.

  • Dan Reist

    Dan Reist

    Centre for Addictions Research of BC
    Dan Reist is Assistant Director at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC at the University of Victoria. Dan actively helps schools, families and communities effectively address substance use from a health promotion perspective. His knowledge mobilization team is involved in assessing evidence, supporting health literacy and healthy public policy and facilitating collaboration.
  • Janine Robinson

    Janine Robinson

    Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario

    Janine Robinson is an advanced practice clinician and educator at the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Since 1999, she has provided clinical training across the province of Ontario and internationally. 

    Janine is also a problem and responsible gambling trainer to treatment systems and gaming industries internationally, and is currently the lead for the responsible gambling trainings for Ontario's gaming industry.
  • rani-srivastava_Disc2017

    Rani Srivastava, Ph.D.

    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

    Rani Srivastava is Chief of Nursing & Professional Practice at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). In this role she oversees the Professional Practice Department which includes professional practice, quality & safety, ethics, and client relations.

    Rani is recognized for her expertise on health care leadership and interprofessional care. She served as the chair for the best practice guideline on Embracing Diversity: Developing Cultural Competence and she is the author/editor of The Healthcare Professional’s Guide to Clinical Cultural Competence.  

  • Sherry Stewart

    Sherry Stewart, Ph.D.

    Dalhousie University
    Sherry Stewart is a clinical psychologist who studies the role of psychological factors (e.g., personality, motives) in contributing to addictive behaviors including alcohol use, prescription drug misuse, and excessive gambling.
  • mark-vander-linden_Disc2017

    Mark Vander Linden

    Massachusetts Gaming Commission

    Mark Vander Linden serves as Director of Research and Responsible Gaming for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), where he manages the extensive MGC research agenda to advance the understanding of responsible gaming, gambling disorders and impacts of casino gambling in Massachusetts. Additionally in this position, he works collaboratively with casino operators and other stakeholders on a range of casino and community-based responsible gaming initiatives. 

    Prior to joining MGC in 2013, Mark was the Executive Officer of the Office of Problem Gambling Treatment and Prevention with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Mark serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators and the National Center for Responsible Gaming.

  • doug-walker_Disc2017

    Doug Walker, Ph.D.

    College of Charleston

    Doug Walker is a professor of economics at the College of Charleston, in South Carolina. He also operates a small consulting firm, Casinonomics Consulting, LLC. During his sabbatical in fall 2014, he was a visiting professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance, Division on Addiction, in Cambridge, MA.

    Recognized as one of the world’s top experts on the socioeconomic impacts of casino gambling, Ian's latest book, published in 2013, is titled Casinonomics: The Socioeconomic Impacts of the Casino Industry. Doug has served as a consultant for a variety of industry and research organizations, as well as governments.

  • Shelley White

    Shelley White

    Responsible Gambling Council

    Shelley White joined the Responsible Gambling Council as CEO in 2017. Shelley has over 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector, having held executive positions with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and most recently with United Way of Peel Region as President and CEO for 13 years.

  • Jamie Wiebe

    Jamie Wiebe, Ph.D.

    Responsible Gambling Council
    As director of research and development for the RGC Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices, Jamie Wiebe guides the design, analysis and interpretation of projects and the development of content. She oversees a wide variety of initiatives that identify best practices to reduce the incidence of problem gambling. Previously, Jamie held research positions at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, and the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse.
  • Richard Wood

    Richard Wood, Ph.D.


    Richard Wood is a psychologist specializing in the study of gambling behaviour. Richard founded GamTalk.org a non-profit organisation that provides free online support for people with all levels of gambling related issues. Gamtalk launched in Canada in 2008, providing peer-based support forums, live chat, referral links to local treatment services and stories of recovery, to all of North America and beyond.

  • ian-wybron_Disc2017

    Ian Wybron


    Ian Wybron is Head of Social Policy at the UK think-tank Demos. He is currently leading a gambling-harm prevention pilot in secondary schools across England. His primary research interests are in education and skills, risky behaviours, and public health.