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

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  • Alex Price Photo Discovery 2018

    Alex Price, Ph.D.

    Senior Researcher, Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices and RG Plus

    Dr. Alex Price is the Senior Researcher for the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices and RG+ at the Responsible Gambling Council. In his three years at RGC, Dr. Price has led over 20 responsible gambling research and evaluation projects ranging from evidence reviews for establishing low-risk gambling guidelines in Canada to in-depth studies of video lottery terminal play in Canada and Keno play in British Columbia.

  • Alexandra OrlandoHS1

    Alexandra Orlando

    Researcher, Games Institute, University of Waterloo

    Alexandra Orlando is a game studies lecturer and researcher. Her research areas are include Esports, and Twitch streaming. She also worked as a community and project manager with the Collegiate Star League and eSports Canada and is formerly the Editor-in-Chief for FirstPersonScholar.com, a middle-state game studies publication.

  • Andrew Au

    Andrew Au

    Co-founder & President, Intercept Group
    Andrew Au is this year's keynote speaker. 

    We are at an inflection point with technology and cultural shifts that is changing the norms of gambling and where it appears. 

    This year’s keynote address “Navigating Digital Transformation” will help define the technological landscape today and what we need to know moving forward. 

    Andrew Au brings both substance and style to navigating disruption and future-proofing organizations, powered by big data and transformative ideas.

    Referred to by Forbes as a “millennial expert”, our Keynote Speaker Andrew Au is a modern business leader who helps global blue-chip brands respond to the new culture and nature of work.   
  • BlaineGraboyes_005

    Blaine Graboyes

    Co-Founder & CEO, GameCo, Inc.

    Blaine is Co-Founder and CEO of GameCo, inventor of the video game casino and creator of the Video Game Gambling Machine (VMG™). Blaine’s produced 4,000+ projects for world-renowned clients such as, Blizzard, Ubisoft, DreamWorks, Mattel, Sony, Disney, Nickelodeon, DIRECTV, Warner Bros., and more. Blaine is an active member of the Producers Guild Of America (PGA).

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    Catherine Bernatchez

    Provincial Coordinator, YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program
    Catherine Bernatchez is the provincial coordinator, program development and outreach, with the YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP). She has been actively involved in youth problem gambling prevention since 2011. Prior to her role with YGAP, Catherine worked as a youth facilitator in youth tobacco prevention for Ottawa Public Health. As a Recreation and Leisure Studies graduate, she enjoys developing fun and interactive prevention and education programs for youth of all ages.
  • David Horricks

    David Horricks

    Executive Director, Community Supports Division, Government of British Columbia
    David Horricks spent his school-age years in Halifax Nova Scotia and young adulthood in Ottawa, where he completed an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Carleton University.  He completed a Masters in Social Work with a specialty in community, organization, management and policy, from the University of Calgary. He left Alberta after twelve years as Executive Director of Parkland Youth Homes in Red Deer. In 2009 he moved to Victoria, BC accepting a position as the Director of the Responsible & Problem Gambling Program and is currently the Executive Director of the Community Supports Division at the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch in the Ministry of Finance. 
  • doug-walker

    Doug Walker, Ph.D.

    Professor of Economics, College of Charleston

    Doug Walker is a professor of economics at the College of Charleston. He also operates Casinonomics Consulting. Recognized as one of the world’s top experts on the socioeconomic impacts of gambling, Dr. Walker has published two books and more than 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters on gambling.

  • Naoyuki Nishimura

    Dr. Naoyuki Nishimura

    Representative Director, Japan Sustainable Responsible Gaming Council (JSRG)
    When the Government of Japan deliberated the Gambling Addiction Countermeasures Bill last summer, Dr. Nishimura was the only person invited to both Houses as an expert witness. After the Bill was passed, he founded and became the Representative Director of Japan Sustainable Responsible Gaming Council (JSRG), which is the first organization in the country to use RG in its name, and aims to develop sustainable RG schemes and practices customized for Japan.

    Dr. Nishimura is also the Representative Director of Recovery Support Network, a nonprofit organization offering telephone consultation to those affected by problem gambling in pachinko halls. He is considered the leading expert in Japan on gambling addiction countermeasures and prevention.

  • eve limbrick-oldfield

    Eve Limbrick-Oldfield, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Gambling Research, UBC
    Eve is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, investigating the psychological mechanisms of gambling and gambling disorder. She uses a combination of behavioural and brain imaging measures to identify factors that influence gambling behaviour, and the development of gambling disorder.
  • George Sweny

    Vice President, Compliance, The Stars Group

    George Sweny joined The Stars Group in September 2014 and is the Vice President, Compliance. Prior to working for The Stars Group, Mr. Sweny held executive level positions in the gaming industry, most recently as Senior Vice President with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and as Chief Strategy Officer with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

    Earlier roles have included executive positions with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and Len Stuart and Associates.

  • Glenn  Pothier Picture

    Glenn Pothier

    Founder & President, GLPi

    Glenn Pothier will be the moderator of sessions he is participating in.

    Glenn Pothier is the founder and president of GLPi — a specialist strategy, facilitation and engagement-consulting firm focused on helping clients to operate successfully and communicate effectively in complex environments. For over two decades, he has helped countless organizations from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to develop new approaches, nurture ideas, and reposition themselves (and/or their initiatives) to realize aspirations.

  • James Whelan headshot

    James P Whelan, Ph.D.

    Professor & Clinical Psychologist, University of Memphis
    Professor and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Memphis where he also directs The Institute for Gambling Education and Research. In addition to being well published on topics related to responsible gambling and gambling disorder assessment and treatment, he and his team have treated over 800 individuals with gambling problems. 
  • Janine Robinson cropped Photo Discovery 2018

    Janine Robinson

    Director, RG Plus and the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices

    Janine Robinson is the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices and RG Plus at the Responsible Gambling Council. Her advanced degrees in adult education, clinical care and community development, combined with her passionate interest in culture and gambling, bring a 360° perspective to responsible gambling. She brings workplace learning practices to responsible gambling programing, and academic rigor to program evaluation, creating programs and guiding responsible gambling policies for the real world.

  • Jennifer ShatleyCROP

    Jennifer Shatley

    Experienced Responsible Gaming Executive, Caesars
    Jennifer Shatley is an experienced responsible gaming executive with a background involving extensive leadership progressing RG policy. As Vice President, Responsible Gaming for Caesars, Jennifer created first-of-its-kind RG training, developing the role of RG Ambassador, and developed the first patented RG IT application. Jennifer continues to advise Caesars on responsible gaming.
  • Judith Glynn photo Discovery 2019

    Judith Glynn, M.Sc.

    M.Sc. Principal, Strategic Science

    Judith Glynn, M.Sc. Principal, Strategic Science, provides social responsibility consulting in gambling, obesity and substance abuse. 

    Judith has 25+ years experience spanning public policy, scientific research, and marketing/communications – 19 years in the gambling field.  She is advisor to the Machines Research Oversight Panel, and other international policy and research bodies. 

  • kahlil_philander_013

    Kahlil Philander, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Business Management, WSU
    Dr. Kahlil Philander is an Assistant Professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University. He also holds an appointment as an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. His research interests are in the socio-economic impacts of gambling.
  • Kim Mouridsen photo

    Kim Mouridsen, Ph.D.

    Professor in Neuroinformatics and Founder of Mindway AI
    Kim Mouridsen has previously worked at the University College of London and held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has a track-record of developing clinically applicable decision support tools and predictive models, and developed the core technologies in Mindway AI and Cercare Medical. As an entrepreneur, Kim has co-founded several successful companies in the decision support area.
  • Leah Green photo

    Leah Green

    Research Analyst, CAMH
    Leah is a Research Analyst at CAMH, based in Kenora, Ontario, supporting the Northwestern Ontario Wellness Gambling Response Program. Her passion is to understand ways to reduce psychological suffering on both the individual and community level, and spread current research to facilitate novel approaches to mental health and community wellness.
  • Quilty headshot

    Lena Quilty, Ph.D.

    Senior Scientist, CAMH

    Dr. Quilty is a Senior Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She has an applied program of research, with a focus on personality and cognition in depression and addiction. Her research program includes evidence-based assessment of and early intervention in gambling, as well as cognitive and behavioural therapeutics for mood and addiction.

  • LorenVanderlinden2019

    Loren Vanderlinden, Ph.D.

    Manager, Healthy Public Policy, Toronto Public Health
    Loren Vanderlinden, manager in Healthy Public Policy, Toronto Public Health, led the initiative assessing problem gambling, health and prevention approaches to inform Toronto City Council’s decisions on gambling expansion. She received a PhD in biomedical anthropology from University of Toronto and is cross-appointed at Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
  • Louise Nadeau

    Louise Nadeau, Ph.D.

    Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal
    Louise Nadeau, Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2015) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2016). She was awarded the Order of Canada (2018). Dr. Nadeau’s research focuses on addictions including gambling and she is co-chair of the Low-Risk Gambling Monitoring Committee. 
  • Madison Stange_Photo

    Madison Stange, Ph.D. Candidate

    PhD Candidate (Psychology), University of Waterloo
    Madison Stange is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, studying under the supervision of Dr. Mike Dixon. Her research focuses on the structural characteristics of scratch card games and how various game features (such as near-misses) influence gambling behaviour and decision making. 

    Makoto Nakagawa

    Director General, Responsible Gambling Office, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan
    Mr. Makoto Nakagawa has been in charge of responsible gambling policy at the Cabinet Secretariat since December 2016. In addition, since 2014, he is leading his Government’s agenda to set up Integrated Resorts in Japan. He has significantly contributed to the new Integrated Resort legislation in Japan which was enacted in July 2018. He is a leading policy maker in these fields in Japan.
  • Marie -Claire Flores-Pajot

    Marie-Claire Flores-Pajot, M.Sc

    Research and Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
    Marie-Claire Flores-Pajot, Research and Policy Analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, is part of the team developing the Canadian Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines. These guidelines will help people who want to gamble do so in a manner that poses minimal risk to themselves and those around them.
  • Mark Johnson4

    Mark R Johnson, Ph.D.

    Killam Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
    Dr Mark R Johnson is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta. His research examines loot boxes, daily fantasy sports, esports, live streaming, and gamification. Beyond academia he is also an independent game developer, a games blogger and podcaster, and a former professional poker player.
  • matthew-young

    Matthew M. Young, Ph.D.

    Senior Research and Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

    Matthew M. Young, Ph.D., is a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and an Adjunct Research Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. Matthew has been working in the field of substance use and addiction for over 20 years and currently leads CCSA's drug use epidemiology research activities. In addition to substance use epidemiology, Matthew has studied gambling-related harms for over 15 years and did his doctoral work investigating craving among people who gamble. Currently, he co-chairs the scientific committee tasked with developing the first Lower Risk Gambling Guidelines

  • Omer Sattar  Photo

    Omer Sattar

    Co-founder, Sightline Payments LLC
    Mr. Sattar has over 10 years of operations experience in the gaming payment industry.  Most recently, Mr. Sattar co-founded Sightline Payments LLC, where he serves as Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.  Mr. Sattar previously served as President of UB Ventures, a service provider to the prepaid industry. Prior to this role he was Senior Vice President of Cash Access Services for Global Cash Access Inc. (NYSE: GCA).  Mr. Sattar started his career in Debt Capital Markets and Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking with Wachovia Securities.  Mr. Sattar is an undergraduate of Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
  • Paul Pellizzari

    Paul Pellizzari

    Vice President, Global Social Responsibility, Hard Rock International

    Paul Pellizzari is the Vice President—Global Social Responsibility at Hard Rock International. Previously he headed social responsibility for OLG. His career spans social impact research consulting, purpose-driven marketing, and collaboration with government and many not-for-profits. Author of two books and many articles, he has also taught as adjunct faculty at Queen’s University

  • PETE

    Peter Filice

    Director of Social Responsibility Program Development, OLG

    Peter Filice is the Director of Social Responsibility Program Development with Ontario’s Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Since 2009, Peter has helped lead the development and implementation of OLG’s Responsible Gambling (RG) program which earned recognition as the World Lottery Association’s ‘Best Overall RG Program’ (2014 & 2018) and enabled the achievement of RG Check accreditation for all of Ontario’s land-based gaming venues and internet gambling platform, PlayOLG. 

    Peter’s academic background is in psychology and addictions and he has worked in various operational roles within the gaming industry since 1994.

  • Phil Mun

    Phil Mun, Ph.D.

    Manager for Social Responsibility Data Strategy, OLG
    Phil has been working in the Responsible and Problem Gambling field for over 20 years.  He has a Ph.D. in Criminology and did his thesis on the governance of casino gambling when commercial casinos were first introduced in Ontario.  Before coming to OLG, Phil worked as a Senior Researcher for the Responsible Gambling Council for 8 years.  In the past 7 years at OLG, Phil worked in Social Responsibility policy before moving to his current position as the Manager for Social Responsibility Data Strategy.  His experience ranges from research and data analytics; program strategy, development and evaluation; policy and regulatory control; and software testing.  Phil’s current OLG projects include Player Risk Analytics, RG customer insight generation, RG program performance monitoring and evaluation framework, My PlaySmart, and Self-Exclusion.  
  • Renee Linklater - 2016

    Renee Linklater, Ph.D.

    Director of Aboriginal Engagement and Outreach, CAMH

    Renee Linklater, PhD is a member of Rainy River First Nations in Northwestern Ontario.  She has over 25 years of experience working with Indigenous healing agencies and First Nation communities. Renee has worked across the health and education sectors as a frontline worker, program evaluator, curriculum developer, educator/trainer, and researcher. She is an international speaker on trauma and healing and is the author of Decolonizing trauma work: Indigenous stories and strategies. Renee is the Director of Aboriginal Engagement and Outreach for the Provincial System Support Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and is actively involved in several system level initiatives across the province.

  • Richard Taylor Headshot

    Richard Taylor

    Executive Director of Responsible Gaming, MGM Resorts International

    Richard Taylor is the Executive Director of Responsible Gaming and Military Affairs for MGM Resorts International. Among other duties, he oversees the operation of the company’s responsible gaming program, GameSense. He is a native Las Vegan and proud graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Robb Wickstrom photo

    Robb Wickstrom

    PlayWise Advisor, Atlantic Lottery Corporate Social Responsibility Team
    Robb Wickstrom is a member of the Atlantic Lottery Corporate Social Responsibility team in his role as a PlayWise Advisor at Red Shores Casino in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Robb has 8 years experience working directly with Casino guests and employees in the promotion and education of responsible gambling.
    Robb also brings close to 20 years Psycho-social rehabilitation experience as an employment counselor in the mental health field with the Canadian Mental health Association.
  • rod black

    Rod Black

    TSN & CTV Sports
    CTV and TSN sportscaster Rod Black’s knowledge, versatility and enthusiasm have earned him a reputation as one of Canada’s most recognized and distinguished sportscasters. He is a consummate professional who displays passion and excitement in all that he does. In his 30 years as a sports journalist, Rod has been involved with a variety of different events and competitions, fitting into each role with ease. Rod’s extensive sports resume includes play-by-play announcing for the CFL on TSN, as well as hosting duties for golf, the NBA on TSN and international hockey. 
  • sasha-stark-photo-discovery-2018

    Sasha Stark, Ph.D.

    Senior Researcher, RG Plus and the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices

    Dr. Sasha Stark is the Senior Researcher for the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices and RG Plus at the Responsible Gambling Council. Sasha has more than a decade of experience in the gambling field, working on gambling prevention, standards development, and program evaluation.

  • Shelley White

    Shelley White

    CEO, The Responsible Gambling Council

    Shelley White is one of Canada’s foremost visionary leaders who has dedicated her life and career to empowering organizations that create better futures for thousands of people in their communities. In 2017, she became the new CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC).  

    Over the last 30 years, Shelley has also held a variety of executive positions also in the non-profit sector for the country’s most recognized and trusted national institutions, including United Way, Kidney Foundation of Canada and the YMCA. Earning a reputation as a champion of social change, Shelley has received United Way Worldwide’s Common Good Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Award for outstanding achievement in voluntary service, and has been named one of Mississauga’s Top 10 Most Influential Leaders.

  • Sheona Hurd photo

    Sheona Hurd

    Director of Social Responsibility, OLG

    Sheona Hurd is a Social Responsibility thought leader with nearly two decades experience transforming the public sector through effective strategy, policy, brand marketing and communications. 

    Currently OLG’s Director of Social Responsibility, Ms. Hurd has devoted the last 14 years to building Ontario’s award-winning Responsible Gambling (RG) program from scratch. To writing the first RG brochures in Ontario, to leading the development of PlaySmart, OLG’s player education platform, Ms. Hurd has helped to shape the way RG is delivered in the province.

    Prior to joining OLG, Ms. Hurd worked as a journalist, and as a communications professional in the financial and health care sectors.

  • simo dragicevic

    Simo Dragicevic

    CEO, BetBuddy

    Simo is the CEO of BetBuddy, Playtech’s award-winning responsible gambling data analytics company. Simo is an expert in consumer behaviour and consumer protection. Simo is also a PhD supervisor at the Research Centre for Machine Learning at City, University of London, and was named AMBA Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

  • Sophie Dean Headshot

    Sophie Dean

    Public Affairs and Responsible Gambling Manager, GVC Holdings Plc.
    Sophie Dean is the Public Affairs and Responsible Gambling Manager at GVC Holdings Plc. Focusing on developing and implementing the new GVC Safer Gambling Global Strategy, Changing for the Bettor. Prior to that, Sophie was a Special Adviser to the UK Government, and has held several Senior Research positions within UK Parliament.
  • stacy shaw_head_shot

    Stacy Shaw

    Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Oregon State Lottery

    Stacy Shaw is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Oregon State Lottery. She provides leadership and strategic direction for the Lottery's responsible and problem gambling programs.  Oregon Lottery’s responsible gambling program, has won numerous awards and is notable for a focus on “all players, all the time” and a commitment to innovative research and training. Prior to joining the Lottery, Ms. Shaw held executive sales and marketing positions with hospitality brands such as Hyatt Hotels and the Related Companies. She also founded and managed her own marketing services agency which specialized in travel, senior living, and real estate. 

  • Sue Birge

    Director of RG Check, Responsible Gambling Council
    Sue Birge became the director of the Responsible Gambling Council’s RG Check accreditation program in 2013. From 2000 to 2012, Sue was Executive Director of Policy, Responsible Gambling and Business Services at the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, Ministry of Public Safety, Government of British Columbia.
  • Trudy S.Q. grey

    Trudy Smit Quosai, Ph.D.

    CEO, Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Dr. Trudy Smit Quosai is the Chief Executive Officer at Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO). GREO is an independent knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) organization funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We mobilize information that is rigorous, useful, and actionable to minimize harms from gambling. GREO has engaged with international experts to create the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling and to develop understanding about the most important harms to target and how to measure them. 
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