E-mail is like playing a slot machine because …

predictablyI’ve recently been reading a New York Times Bestseller by Duke University Psychology professor Dan Ariely. His book, Predictably Irrational (first published in 2008 and revised in 2010) established Ariely as a thought leader in the developing field of behavioral economics, what the Oxford Dictionary defines as “A method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behavior to explain economic decision-making.” Continue reading

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High marks from 2014 conference participants raises bar for future presenters

Watch interviews with some of the New Horizons in RG 2014 presenters.

Watch interviews with some of the New Horizons in RG 2014 presenters.

More than 270 delegates from across Canada and six other countries traveled to Vancouver last January to attend the second New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference.  The overwhelmingly positive feedback offered by the delegates sets up a huge challenge for conference organizers and in particular for those hoping to present at the 2015 conference being held next February. Continue reading

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Personal delivery: bringing player education initiatives to life at CGCs

promo-gamesense-info.jpg.scale.208x118BCLC’s community gaming centres (CGCs) have not been receiving the level of personal responsible gambling support over the years as their big brother casino properties. But we’re working to change that. Continue reading

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What’s an RG check?

RG Check Accredited LogoThis was the question asked recently by reporter Mike Howell of the Vancouver Courier when news reports about the planned relocation of the Edgewater Casino mentioned the program in answer to concerns about the management of problem gambling.

So what is it exactly?

Well, the “RG” in RG Check stands for Responsible Gambling.  And RG Check is a program devised by the Toronto-based Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) to assess the presence and effectiveness of responsible gambling programs within gaming venues like BC’s casinos and community gaming centres.  The RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices has developed a set of eight standards (called the RG Index) based on established, evidence-based best practices, or in the absence of evidence, with expert opinion based on existing literature, experience, or emerging research. Continue reading

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The problem with problem gambling stats

“Problem gambling in B.C. more than doubled in 5 years”   CBC Online

“B.C. revenue increases as problem gambling more than doubles”  Vancouver Sun

“B.C.’s problem gamblers double”  (Victoria) Times Colonist

“Problem gamblers on the rise in B.C.”  The (Kelowna) Daily Courier

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 8.48.14 AMThe headlines on October 17th were certainly worrisome.  But to me they revealed the challenge that comes from trying to boil down complex data and analysis to a level understandable or relevant to the general public.

The stories were based on a recent report by BC’s provincial health officer that included reference to two problem gambling prevalence studies released by the Province of British Columbia in March 2003 and January 2007. Both studies, undertaken by a respected international research firm, used an internationally recognized measurement tool (the Canadian Problem Gambling Index or CPGI) to assess the level of problem gambling among the adult population in British Columbia.

Continue reading

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