RGC's weekly newsletter explores issues and provides updates about responsible gambling, from across Canada and around the world.
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Apr 17, 2014 10:34 AM
Newscan (Vol. 16, Issue 15)
With the Stanley Cup playoffs looming, a new survey from the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) shows that Canada’s national pastime is fertile ground for Canadians looking to gamble.
Apr 04, 2014 12:44 PM
Newscan (Vol. 16, Issue 13)
Discovery 2014 year will, among other topics, raise the dilemma of player protection schemes as either an example of oversight gone too far (the “nanny state” at work) or an example of sensible and socially responsible safety measures. We will explore the principles of player tracking and some of the various forms of interventions in place around the world. We will ask: how far should we go in protecting people from themselves?
Feb 21, 2014 10:19 AM
Newscan (Vol. 16, Issue 7)
As a concept, pre-commitment is pretty simple. If people set a limit on their gambling in advance, they will be more aware of their spending, and better able to control it. They are less likely to engage in risky behaviour like chasing losses, and so their risk of developing a gambling problem is reduced.
Feb 14, 2014 02:26 PM
Newscan (Vol. 16, Issue 6)
When you’re in the business of changing behaviour—and anyone who sells, regulates, counsels, teaches, or parents is—there are basically two approaches:
(1) Take away the options you don’t want people to have or (2) Explain why one option is best, and let them decide
Jan 10, 2014 11:47 AM
Newscan (Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Playing the lottery is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Canada and elsewhere. Lottery tickets are much more readily available than other types of gambling— with nearly 30,000 outlets across Canada that sell them (as shown in the Canadian Gambling Digest 2011-2012). And today, seven of ten Canadian provinces offer online lottery ticket sales.
Dec 13, 2013 11:16 AM
Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 48)
RGC had another lesson recently about the importance of listening to the audience when constructing prevention messages. We are currently focus-testing a new campaign for 18 to 24-year-olds that addresses “the chase.”
Jun 14, 2013 12:10 PM
Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 22)
“It would help a lot if the casinos I played at would offer me the ability to set my own limits.”
“The best way to curb any gambling problem is to enforce strict restrictions as per what the maximum amounts are that people can possibly play.”
These statements by players on Internet gambling forums were collected as part of the RGC Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices’ study, Monetary Limits Tools for Internet Gamblers, prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and published this week.
Mar 22, 2013 02:01 PM
Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 11)
A cornerstone of prevention is persuasion—because changing people’s behaviour usually involves motivating them to do so. And persuading people means communicating messages that are credible, memorable and most importantly: trustworthy.
Mar 15, 2013 09:55 AM
Newscan (Vol 15, Issue 10)
The worldwide popularity and growth of online gambling has enormous implications for problem gambling prevention. There are good reasons for concern—its accessibility, anonymity and the potential for high frequency of play are significant characteristics of online gambling that warrant careful consideration for prevention programs.
Mar 01, 2013 12:36 PM
Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 8)
Dr. Marc Potenza, a professor of psychiatry, child study and neurobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine and the director of the Problem Gambling Clinic, will present at the closing plenary session of Discovery 2013. Dr. Potenza has made a significant impact on problem gambling research over the last 15 years. He has been part of two DSM-5 research work groups
Feb 22, 2013 12:41 PM
Newscan (Vol 15, Issue 7)
On its surface, the notion of social responsibility is not particularly complex. The idea is essentially that a socially responsible organization (or individual) pursues its goals in a sustainable way that contributes to the common good. The most frequently cited examples of the term measure impact on the environment (as in deepwater drilling) or on local people (as in fair-trade coffee).
Feb 15, 2013 11:28 AM
Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 6)
As anyone who watches a new year’s resolution dissolve in mid-February knows, a commitment to change one’s behaviour can be a far cry from actually changing it. And that, as mental health professionals know, is what treatment is meant to help with: providing the tools and support for people to implement positive change over the long term.
Feb 08, 2013 11:58 AM
Newscan (Vol 15, Issue 5)
A tenet of any prevention program—whether preventing problem gambling or road accidents—is information delivered at the right time to the right people in the right way. All the seatbelts in the world won’t help if people don’t know the rules of the road and which pedal applies the brakes.
Jan 18, 2013 12:29 PM
Newscan (Vol 15, Issue 2)
As most readers of Newscan will know, there have been several recent announcements about gaming venues achieving accreditation under the RG Check program. In preparing for these announcements we spent some time revisiting the philosophical underpinnings of the RG Check standards.
Dec 14, 2012 12:00 PM
Newscan (Vol 14, Issue 49)
There was a really interesting article in the Globe and Mail on December 4 about older people and their vulnerability to con artists. In essence the story reported research out of the University of California that discovered a specific part of the brain called the anterior insula that helps people judge trustworthiness.
Dec 07, 2012 11:03 AM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 48)
The concept of accreditation is fairly simple: compare a particular reality to a general standard to see where it stacks up. If it meets an established threshold, then it’s accredited. This process is familiar to most of us, whether from swimming lessons, or learning to play piano.
Nov 30, 2012 12:40 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 47)
Taking action to prevent problem gambling has a wider impact than simply helping the gambler with a potential problem. As seen in the recently published Insight 2011—Responding to Patrons with Potential Gambling Problems, developing a response framework that is systematic and respectful can not only help the gambler in question, but also improves the experience of venue staff and other patrons.
Nov 16, 2012 04:17 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 45)
Ahneen!! My name is Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik and I am a member of the Ojibways of Batchewana Band in Sault Ste. Marie. For the last year, I have been the Aboriginal liaison for an Aboriginal outreach initiative for the Responsible Gambling Council. I am honoured to share with you the goals, background and some of the milestones of this year’s journey.
Oct 05, 2012 11:25 AM
Newscan (Vol, 14, Issue 39)
RGC has delivered problem gambling prevention programs at the community level in Ontario for more than a decade. At first, it was Within Limits: Problem Gambling Prevention Month, but in 2009, we made a significant change to a themed, week-long, community-focused program that runs on a 2-year cycle called Problem Gambling Prevention Week (PGPW).
Sep 28, 2012 02:25 PM
Newscan (Vol 14, Issue 38)
I was recently asked to speak to a community of practice for public health professionals whose work focuses on convincing young adults (18-34) to quit smoking – or better yet, not to start. They get together every two months via teleconference and twice per year in person to share information with other health units across Ontario in support of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.
Sep 21, 2012 11:56 AM
Newscan (Vol 14, Issue 37)
For over a decade, RGC has been showing students at colleges and universities how to avoid the risks associated with gambling through the Know the Score (kts2) peer-to-peer problem gambling awareness program. This year, the program is building on past success with a tried-and-true approach with a couple of additions to its online presence.
Sep 14, 2012 10:40 AM
Newscan (Vol 14, Issue 36)
When people sign a voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) agreement in B.C., they are also signing away their right to any winnings if they breach their agreement.
B.C. sees this as a best practice in assisting people with issues related to problem gambling, and hopes that other Canadian provinces will soon follow suit.
Sep 07, 2012 02:06 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 35)
People who choose to gamble have greater access and a growing variety of options thanks to technology. They can pick up their mobile communication devices while commuting or waiting in line and gamble on online poker sites and casinos. Lottery tickets are available on the web in some jurisdictions and even Facebook launched its first real money gambling App in the UK.
Jun 22, 2012 01:46 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 24)
In many of the prevention programs at RGC, we attempt to dispel myths and challenge beliefs to help people make better decisions if they choose to gamble. Myth busting is problematic, though, because not all beliefs are created equal. It’s one thing to show that slot machine venues can’t adjust slot payouts on the fly—and quite another to challenge beliefs that are based in culture, religion or superstition.
Jun 15, 2012 11:27 AM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 23)
The House of Commons and the Canadian Senate are currently debating Bill C-290, which will expand single-event sports betting in Canada beyond horse race wagering. Until this change, betting on sports required betting on the outcome of at least three different games or events. RGC has been invited to speak as a witness at the Senate hearings.
Jun 08, 2012 11:46 AM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 22)
For over a decade, RGC has created and presented youth awareness dramas that have reached over 230,000 secondary school students throughout Ontario and Atlantic Canada. From the beginning, prevalence studies showed us that there was a compelling need for awareness of the risks of gambling in adolescents. But why use live drama to deliver awareness messages to students?
Jun 01, 2012 03:49 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Iss 21)
What is pathological gambling (PG)? How do you know that someone’s gambling problem is, medically speaking, a gambling disorder? The answer, for many in the mental health profession, can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is in the final stages of developing a new edition, the DSM-5.
Below, Nigel Turner—a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto—offers his insight and analysis into three significant changes to the criteria for diagnosing pathological gambling. Each change has important implications for research, treatment and prevention.
May 25, 2012 12:30 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 20)
For over a decade, RGC has developed programs and social marketing campaigns that address problem gambling. Millions have seen these ads and when surveyed, the majority recognize and retain key messages. These surveys have also told us that large numbers of the audience would use the information if the need arose. But, is recognition and retention enough? How do you know if you have truly prevented a gambling problem?
May 18, 2012 11:17 AM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 19)
About a month ago, the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) received an email from a member of the public complaining about a TV commercial for Mennen Speed Stick. Having personally seen the consequences of problem gambling first-hand, the man thought the commercial was troubling.
May 11, 2012 11:38 AM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 18)
The Responsible Gambling Council has been creating large-scale awareness and social marketing programs for over a decade. From time to time we ask ourselves what we are learning from this mountain of experience. The reality is we have learned many lessons on many levels: how best to work with ad agencies, the best vehicles for our message, the best time to buy ad space etc. Here are my picks for the top five key lessons.
May 04, 2012 04:23 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 17)
There are many aspects of online gambling that problem gambling organizations worry about: the appeal to young people, the instant access, and the popularity of online poker. Yet, there are some aspects of online—as well as electronic (i.e., slot machine and VLT)—gambling that provide opportunities to understand problem gambling better and to incorporate safeguards right into the technology.
Apr 27, 2012 12:33 PM
Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 16)
There is a worry, sometimes spoken and often unspoken, that responsible gambling (RG) programs undermine the profitability of gaming companies. And profit is, of course, a legitimate concern for anyone running a business. But the answers to this question are not straightforward. Many factors are involved, not the least of which is the quality of the RG programs.
Having said this, anyone concerned about RG and profits might usefully look at the Singapore experience.
Apr 20, 2012 05:47 PM
Newscan, Vol. 14 Issue 15
From time to time, prevention programs of the Responsible Gambling Council include contests, like the one that’s currently running as part of our Safe or Sorry campaign. These contests are designed to attract attention and promote audience participation—and though we offer a prize, we try to avoid the term ‘win,’ saying instead that participants have a ‘chance at’ a particular item. (Check out our Safe or Sorry print campaign, for example.)