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

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Focus Group with Gamers who Gamble a Highlight of Discovery 2012

Apr 20, 2012

Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 15)

International attendees committed to problem gambling prevention, treatment, research and policy analysis came together in downtown Toronto, April 2 to 4, for the thought-provoking and insightful Discovery 2012 conference.

Once again, the highlight for many attendees was the popular “back room” focus group. This year’s session examined similarities between video gaming and gambling, with insight from the gamers themselves.

In this session, which was broadcast from the focus-group room to the plenary room, six young people who are avid video game players as well as gamblers share their candid experiences and opinion with the delegates.

In a follow-up session, the focus turned to the clinical aspects of the two activities. “It’s clear that the lines between gambling and video gaming are becoming increasingly blurred; not only when it comes to emerging problems but the activities themselves,” observed Jamie Wiebe, Director, RGC Centre of the Advancement of Best Practices.  Delegates agreed that this convergence will require ongoing attention as gambling transitions and evolves.

Discovery 2012 featured 15 sessions with more than 25 speakers from around the world, including Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom and Australia. Participants networked, shared the latest perspectives, discussed new ideas, and raised the kinds of questions that lead to groundbreaking solutions.

Other sessions explored topics like:

  • playing games for social change
  • self-exclusion and online gambling
  • perspectives from the gaming floor
  • advancing the responsible gambling agenda among gaming staff
  • raising the player protection bar in online gambling
  • the role of regulators

Frank O'Dea—author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and co-founder of Second Cup and Street Kids International—set the tone for the conference with his inspiring keynote address, “Hope. Vision. Action.” Mr. O'Dea, an Officer of the Order of Canada, shared the story of how he went from panhandling for nickels and dimes to the success he has today.

RGC's CEO Jon Kelly led a unique one-on-one chat with OLG President and CEO, Rod Phillips. The result was a candid conversation about OLG's plans to modernize gaming in Ontario and its ongoing commitment to responsible gambling as it shifts more toward the oversight of private sector delivery of lottery and gaming.

In addition to the regular sessions, there was a display area where participants learned about the latest research and programs while networking with fellow delegates.

Watch for news about exciting changes to the way Discovery will be delivered in 2013. Coming soon in Newscan!