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

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RGC's weekly newsletter explores issues and provides updates about responsible gambling, from across Canada and around the world.

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Discovery 2 

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Remembering Tibor Barsony: Founder of The Canadian Foundation On Compulsive Gambling

Aug 18, 2017 11:05 AM Responsible Gambling Council

Friends, family and colleagues are remembering an influential and courageous trailblazer who has passed away. Tibor Barsony, founder and executive director of the Canadian Foundation on Compulsive Gambling (CFCG) from 1983 to 1997, died on Friday August 11th.
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Meet Shelley White, the Responsible Gambling Council's New CEO

Mar 03, 2017 02:38 PM The Responsible Gambling Council

Newscan (Vol. 19, Issue 9)

Shelley White joined RGC as CEO in February of this year, 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. Find out a bit more about Shelley in this Q & A. And be sure to join her at RGC’s Discovery 2017 (April 18-20 in Toronto).
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Remote Gambling Research: Interim Report on Phase 1 Now Published

Jun 03, 2016 11:23 AM Responsible Gambling Council

Newscan (Vol. 18, Issue 20)

The Remote Gambling Trust has published an initial report by PwC and the Responsible Gambling Council summarising the first phase of their project to explore the potential usefulness of industry-held data and behavioural analytics in the remote gambling sector.
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Agenda Now Published, Adding Two Keynotes

Jan 16, 2015 11:54 AM Responsible Gambling Council

Newscan (Vol. 17, Issue 2)

At Discovery 2015, we’re digging even deeper with an agenda that challenges us to examine the tensions between persuasion, prohibition and personal change—how do we strike the right balance? In this jam-packed agenda, you’ll find sessions that ask: When does “nudging” work, and when are bans the answer? How much family involvement is appropriate? Should reinstatement after self-exclusion come with any special conditions? And so much more.
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11th Annual Canadian Gambling Digest Now Published

Jul 24, 2014 10:22 AM Responsible Gambling Council

Newscan (Vol 16, Issue 29)

The Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling (CPRG) presents its 11th edition of the Canadian Gambling Digest, an annual report that compiles gambling statistics for each Canadian province.
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Canadians Plan to Wager $210 Million on Stanley Cup Playoffs This Year

Apr 17, 2014 10:34 AM The Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Is Play Monitoring Just an Inevitable Step in the Evolution of Big Data?

Apr 04, 2014 12:44 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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?
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Discovery 2014 Puts Pre-Commitment Under the Microscope

Feb 21, 2014 10:19 AM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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The Power of the Nudge: A Conversation with Cass Sunstein at Discovery 2014

Feb 14, 2014 02:26 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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
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RG Standards for Lottery Operators—One Piece of the Prevention Puzzle

Jan 10, 2014 11:47 AM the Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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In Social Marketing, Nuance Is Everything

Dec 13, 2013 11:16 AM the Responsible Gambling Council

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.”
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Players’ Advice to Each Other: Set a Money Limit

Jun 14, 2013 12:10 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Four Building Blocks of Earning Trust within Communities

Mar 22, 2013 02:01 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Understanding the Risks—and the Opportunities for Safeguards—in Online Gambling

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.
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The DSM-5 and the Biological Underpinnings of Problem Gambling: What Science Can Tell Us—and What It Means

Mar 01, 2013 12:36 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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, presented 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
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Social Responsibility: Simple Notion and Complex Reality

Feb 22, 2013 12:41 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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).
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Discovery 2013 Takes on How to Promote Access to Treatment

Feb 15, 2013 11:28 AM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Prevention School: New Training for a Unique Role

Feb 08, 2013 11:58 AM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Underlying Philosophy of the RG Check Program

Jan 18, 2013 12:29 PM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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A Pitch for Concrete Prevention Messages

Dec 14, 2012 12:00 PM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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RG Check Accreditation: From Concept to Reality

Dec 07, 2012 11:03 AM Kevin Noel, Operations Director, RGC

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.
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Approaching Patrons with a Potential Gambling Problem—A Win-Win-Win Situation

Nov 30, 2012 12:40 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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RGC’s Aboriginal Outreach Initiative : A Year in Review

Nov 16, 2012 04:17 PM Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik, Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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4 Strategies for Building a Successful Prevention Week

Oct 05, 2012 11:25 AM Paula Antoniazzi, Program Director

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).
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Looking Outside the RG Sector Box

Sep 28, 2012 02:25 PM Barry Koen-Butt, Director of Communications and Awareness Programs

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.
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Know the Score: Lessons Learned from 10 Years on Campus

Sep 21, 2012 11:56 AM Jennifer Iveson, Manager of Web, Communications and Social Media

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.
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Withholding Winnings – The B.C. Experience

Sep 14, 2012 10:40 AM Sue Birge Former Executive Director, Policy, Responsible Gambling and Business Services, Government of B.C.

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.
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Problem Gambling? There's an App for that

Sep 07, 2012 02:06 PM Barry Koen-Butt

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.
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Is Myth Busting an Effective Tool for Prevention?

Jun 22, 2012 01:46 PM Barry Koen-Butt, Director of Awareness Programs and Communications

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.
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Is Prevention Keeping Pace with Gaming Expansion?

Jun 15, 2012 11:27 AM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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Youth Social Awareness: Why Live Theatre Still Works

Jun 08, 2012 11:46 AM Barry Koen-Butt, Director of Awareness Programs and Communications

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?
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Pathological Gambling Changes in the DSM-5

Jun 01, 2012 03:49 PM Responsible Gambling Council

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.
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Prevention Programs: What Is Success?

May 25, 2012 12:30 PM Jamie Wiebe, Ph.D.

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?
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Colgate-Palmolive Agrees to Change Ad

May 18, 2012 11:17 AM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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Top 5 Lessons Learned from Over a Decade of Social Marketing Campaigns

May 11, 2012 11:38 AM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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Play Analytics – New Tools for Understanding the Dynamics of Problem Play

May 04, 2012 04:23 PM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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Do Responsible Gambling Programs Undermine Gaming Profits?

Apr 27, 2012 12:33 PM Jon Kelly, CEO

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.
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Contest or No Contest

Apr 20, 2012 05:47 PM Jon Kelly

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.)
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