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

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Jon Kelly, CEO, Signs on for a New Three-Year Term

Oct 19, 2012

Newscan (Vol. 14, Issue 41)

The Responsible Gambling Council Board of Directors has signed on CEO Jon Kelly for a new three-year term.

“The Board appreciates Jon’s commitment, skill and knowledge, which has significantly contributed to RGC's growth in the past 15 years,” said board chair Terry Finn. “He is the ideal person to lead RGC through these times of significant change in the gambling and problem gambling sectors. He will be a driving force in the creation of RGC's new strategic plan, which is currently in development.”

Thirty Years of RGC

In 2013, RGC celebrates its 30th anniversary, reviewing strengths that have led to RGC's success while looking toward the future. The Council is planning a number of events over the course of the year to celebrate the progress of the past 30 years and to recognize the many people both current and past who have contributed to that progress.

“Looking to the future RGC has some enduring commitments like the incorporation of a balanced perspective,” said Jon Kelly. We will continue to bring together all voices that have a stake in the reduction of gambling problems: people with firsthand experience of problems, gaming providers, regulators, policy makers and treatment professionals.”

Jon Kelly became CEO in 1998, as RGC was undergoing a major shift in its mandate. In 1983, RGC was established as the Canadian Foundation on Compulsive Gambling (CFCG), the country's first non-profit responsible gambling organization. Founded by Tibor Barsony, a pioneer in the field, the Foundation put problem gambling issues on the public agenda. "For a long time there was no counselling available for people with gambling problems," said Jon Kelly. "The CFCG pushed hard to get that need recognized and put resources in place. As that happened, and a network of counselling services emerged in Ontario, RGC had the opportunity to shift its focus and resources to prevention.” In May 2001, the Foundation became RGC, shifting its focus to problem gambling prevention.

Looking Forward, Strategically

The anniversary year is also a time to look forward. The current strategic plan concludes at the end of 2012, and the Board, CEO and RGC staff are working on a new strategic plan and vision for the future.

“The landscape of gaming and gambling is constantly evolving and changing, and RGC's programs need to develop along with the sector,” said Jon Kelly. That means that we must do the same. The strategies we have used in the past need to be examined and tested. New forms of gambling like on-line, expanded sports betting and the ‘gamblification’ of social games demand new prevention approaches. Now is not the time to stop or rest on past successes. Quite the opposite, it is a time to rethink the model and to discover new avenues to prevention.”