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How Gambling Works

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Skill & Knowledge

Learn how skill and knowledge factor into games of chance

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Finding Help

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Finding Help

If you find yourself gambling too much, or if it no longer feels like a game, there’s help if you need it.

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2017 Speakers

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Dr. Tilman Lesch

AFFILIATE RESEARCHER | DATA SCIENTIST

UBC Centre of Gambling Research | HRS Innovation Hub

Having read engineering and economics in Germany and Switzerland, as well as working as a management consultant, Dr. Lesch completed his PhD at the Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK, before joining the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Gambling Research. His PhD aimed at understanding how individuals differences and impulsivity are related to an individuals’ willingness to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour. At the UBC Centre for Gambling Research, Dr. Lesch combines theory of addiction and experimental lab research with data mining and other ‘Big Data’ tools to better understand larger trends of behaviour and to improve individuals’ decision-making and policy-making. In particular, he is collaborating with BCLC to study online gambling behaviour to identify behavioural markers of disordered gambling.

The Quality of Quantity - Behavioural Indicators of Risky Online Gambling

Online gambling data is a valuable resource for investigating disordered gambling in large, naturalistic datasets. Previous research has focused on daily aggregate measures of an individual’s gambling behaviour, e.g. number of bets or amount wagered. This quantitative approach falls short of the behavioural analysis of trial-by-trial betting, which may provide a richer source for identifying ‘red flags’ for risky play. Moreover, these behavioural markers can and should be grounded in decision-making theory (e.g. Prospect Theory) and experimental data from the laboratory (e.g. markers of loss chasing).
This talk will review the progress in recent research on online gambling data, before presenting our own approach that focuses on trial-by-trial behavioural patterns of gambling and their relevance for identifying problematic gambling behaviour. We will then showcase our latest research using data from the PlayNow.com platform in British Columbia, Canada. The talk concludes with some final remarks on the technological and methodological requirements of this type of research as well as on potential implications for (online) player protection.

Click here for the audio file