Tuesday, March 9, 2021

8:00 – 8:20 am

Opening Remarks

8:20 – 9:20am

Keynote Address

With its wide-ranging effects on individuals, communities and societies worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the “converging crises” era that we are living through. How will gambling and players be shaped by this experience?

Setting the stage for two days of virtual dialogue, Futurist Sanjay Khanna, an expert in strategic foresight, shares insights on global change and its implications for cultures of play and innovation in a post-pandemic era.

This opening keynote highlights the need to explore plausible scenarios within which play may occur while inspiring conference participants to reboot player health by harnessing an ethos of responsible gambling and breakthrough innovation.


Sanjay Khanna

9:20 – 9:30am


9:30 – 10:30am

Harm minimization is the goal of responsible and problem gambling programs and policies. In recent years, governments have pursued efforts to build a quantitative measure of harm, in order to assess the impact of gambling on society. In this session, we will provide an overview of this novel work, and a response establishing the future stages of development.

Learning goals:

  • Understand the different approaches and limitations within harm minimization programs and policies
  • Examine the future stages of development


Dr. Anita Patel

Dr. Heather Wardle, University of Glasglow


Dr. Trudy Smit Quosai, GREO

A nudge is the idea of making something easy so that people will do it. Sludge is the evil cousin – it impedes our ability to get things done by creating psychological barriers. In gambling, nudges are often used to improve the customer experience, but sometimes this is to the detriment of safer play behaviour. This presentation will highlight the pressing need to understand human behaviour, and how sludge can get in the way of good customer experiences. Furthermore, it will show us how we can effectively leverage healthy nudges that can lead to opportunities for safer play behaviours.

Learning goals:

  • Understand how behavioural science can be applied to encourage safer play behaviours
  • Recognize ‘sludge’ that can create psychological barriers


Bing Feng, Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman

10:30 – 10:40am


10:40 – 11:40am

The days of cash-based transactions are numbered, and RG is playing catch up. In this session, you will hear about the path of technology in the payments space, research from the wider field of marketing about the impact of non-cash payments on spending, and the many potential roads ahead for gaming.

Learning goals:

  • Understand the direction of cashless technology in gaming
  • Understand how a cashless casino can impact player behaviour


Dr. Eve Limbrick Oldfield, Centre for Gambling Studies at UBC

Omer Sattar, Sightline Payments

Trevor Penner, BCLC


Marshall Berhns, BCLC

How has gambling research pivoted in response to COVID-19? In this session of lightning talks, held in lieu of a traditional poster session, trainees at the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC will present breaking data using some of the different techniques in the researcher toolkit, including secondary analysis of data from and online recruitment of targeted groups. 

Learning goals: 

  • Learn how gambling research has pivoted in response to COVID-19
  • Learn about new research insights and different research techniques

Speakers and topics: 

Gabriel Brooks (Simulated Gambling In Video Games – Current Questions)

Osa Hawthorne (Do Day-traders Show Gambling Biases? A Feasibility Study)

Fiza Arshad (Sensory Feedback, Immersion And Slot Machine Gambling: A Laboratory Study)

Mario Ferrari (Online Deployment Of A Fully Realistic Slot Machine ‘Simulator’)

Xiaolei Deng (Behavioural Tracking Of Online Gambling On The PlayNow Platform)

Ke Zhang (Expressions Of Chasing In The eCasino)


Dr. Luke Clark, Centre for Gambling Studies at UBC

11:40am – 12:40pm

Lunch Break

“Balance” is an in-depth documentary that focuses on traditional Indigenous gambling and games. The purpose of the film was to document the teachings, intentions, and values of these games while exploring themes of balance, health and wellness. 

The film was directed by Kristi Lane Sinclair, Haida Nation, Filmmaker from Gaayangaay Productions and produced by Angela Voght, Nłeʔkepmxc Nation, Director of Indigenous Services, BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program. 

In this pre-recorded session, Angela and Kristi will host a behind-the-scenes discussion about the project and their cultural approach to sharing this Indigenous knowledge. 


Angela Voght, BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program

Kristi Lane-Sinclair, Gaayangaay Productions

12:40 – 1:40pm

This interactive session is designed to explore and expand our perspectives on working with communities. How do to that in respectful ways and with a trauma informed lens? We will honor and build on the growing and diverse knowledge each participant brings. Together we will co-create a safe shared space for opening our hearts and minds to learn about the use of Narrative Therapy and the Art of Hosting as effective applications to working with addictions, trauma, grief and loss. We will share  stories of our learnings along this journey to inspire and empower.  

Learning goals:

  • Understand the principles and practices of Narrative Therapy and Art of Hosting. 
  • Explore how collaborative approaches using a trauma informed lens, can support engagement with communities and the promotion of healthy play, problem gambling prevention and support programs.


Matty Devenish, Gambling Support BC

Dennis Dion, Gambling Support BC

Lara Ellison, Gambling Support BC

Alfonso Diaz, Gambling Support BC


Stephanie Papik, Emergency Management BC

Can we solve societal issues with marketing? How can organizations leverage their purpose to drive broader positive change? Social marketing, not to be confused with social media marketing, is an approach that uses a variety of tools to change or maintain behaviours for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. By combining the fundamentals of marketing and social sciences, social marketing can influence and impact behaviours in a sustainable and cost-effective way.

Learning goals: 

  • Understand the fundamentals of social marketing and its link to social purpose 
  • Understand key considerations when developing campaigns designed to change behaviour


Phillip Haid, Public Inc.

Mike Rowlands, Junxion Strategy 

Etienne White, Sustainable Brands


Peter ter Weeme, BCLC

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

9:00 – 10:10am

Opening Remarks

In the past year, self-directed investing activity has boomed. With millions of individuals working from home, new brokerage products like Robinhood and older firms like Questrade or eTrade, have seen massive increases in activity, including high risk products like options. In this session, you will hear about the overlap between gambling and trading, and impacts on individual-level financial risk.

Learning goals:

  • Understand the overlap between gambling and trading
  • Understand the negative impacts and the individual-level financial risks 

Potential Speaker:

Dr. Sharon Collard, University of Bristol


Dr. Kahlil Philander, Washington State University

To date, Dr. Wood and colleagues have conducted positive play studies around the world including every Canadian province, six US states, New Zealand as well as the UK and has concluded that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to responsible gambling is just not optimal. In this session, Dr. Wood will detail some universal findings about what responsible (positive) play looks like and define those players who need the most support. Furthermore, differences between jurisdictions will be discussed and some suggestions given on how to optimize responsible gambling policy.


Dr. Richard Wood, GamRes

10:10 – 10:20am


10:20 – 11:20am

With the rapid expansion of legalized sports betting in North America, a critical examination of regulatory practices to protect the integrity of sports and customers is essential. Join these industry experts as they share their insights and lessons learned from jurisdictions around the world.

Learning goals: 

  • Understand key regulatory areas for land-based and online sports betting
  • Understand the benefits and shortcomings of a restrictive versus customized approaches to regulation 


Brianne Doura-Schawohl, EPIC Risk Management

Keith Whyte, National Council on Problem Gambling  

Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association


Stewart Groumoutis, BCLC

From social casino games to esports to virtual reality and in-game payments, many familiar activities blend the two concepts of gambling and gaming. In the most prolific current example, loot boxes still hit the news on a near-daily basis in legislative and international regulatory debates. Loot boxes, however are just scratching the surface of gambling access in video games and esports, where various verticals include examples of gambling-like features. Dr. Abarbanel will review where we have been along the journey of gambling and gaming convergence internationally, including perspectives from both esports and gambling, and discuss where this intersection is showing up in unusual and unexpected ways.

Learning goals: 

  • Recognize elements of gambling and risk taking in gaming products
  • Discuss consequences of the presence of gambling amidst gaming products


Dr. Brett Abarbanel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

11:20am – 12:30pm

Lunch Break


12:30 – 1:30pm

Closing Remarks

Technology can help us understand our customers and provide them with entertainment options curated to their preferences. But technology will only get us so far. What’s missing? Our panel of frontline experts will discuss how human skills – empathy, humility, vulnerability – are critical ingredients to shape the future of harm reduction.

This session will explore how technology and human interaction converge on the continuum of risk/response, discuss how online and physically remote venues are often challenged with how to deliver personal support services and provide real stories of lived experience.

Learning goals: 

  • Understand the value of human skills in the delivery of effective personal support services
  • Understand how technology and human interaction converge on the continuum of risk and response
  • Understand the unique challenges with support for online and physically remote venues


Jennifer Gregg, Groundwork Counselling

Happie Poonian, BCLC

Margaret Sigsworth, Gambling Support BC


Martin Lampman, BCLC