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February 4, 2015

Day 3 & Wrap-up

Far too quickly, we have arrived at the finale of RG Horizons. But not before we relished a special day of learning and connection at the Vancouver Convention Centre. In the morning, Chuck Keeling offered an invaluable window into the responsible gambling ethos of a casino service provider, while a joint session all-star cast of Dr. Sally Gainsbury, Ken Winters and Alfonso Fernandez tackled the always compelling issue of innovation in problem gambling treatment. At first break, the poster exhibition – featuring academic content from far and wide – took centre stage courtesy of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s appreciated sponsorship. A real highlight of the 2014 conference, the display once again spotlighted outstanding student research, most notably that of Hyoun S (Andrew) Kim from the University of Calgary – the well-deserved recipient of the $1000 prize for best submission.

Prior to lunch, RG luminary, Dr. Alex Blaszczynski, posed the provocative question: ‘Are breaks in play an irresponsible strategy?’ Despite no definitive answer, the tremendous level of audience engagement suggested discussion around this thought-provoking concept will continue long into 2015. In the afternoon, newly-appointed Director of Social Responsibility at BCLC, Dr. Khalil Philander, explored a ‘horses for courses’ eye towards RG messaging – an approach that will no doubt inform RG implementation across British Columbia in the coming years.

The conference finished up with ‘The UBC Session: Player Behaviour and Awareness of Responsible Gambling’ – a discussion hosted by Dr. Luke Clark and panelled by a trio of leading RG authorities: Dr. Bo Bernhard, Amanda McCormick and Jennifer Keim. The conversation dived into the controversial topic of players’ RG awareness and its effect on gambling behaviour, and touched upon the exciting opportunities presented by the newly-functional ‘casino lab’ at the UBC campus. To close proceedings, outgoing BCLC Director and GameSense visionary, Paul Smith, stressed the need to keep the dialogues going post-Horizons and strengthen connections between stakeholders in the responsible gambling world. He signed off by bidding a fond and emotional farewell to all in attendance, especially the fine BCLC team to whom he was indebted for a near-decade of professional excellence. 

That winds up three exceptional days at New Horizons. We hope to see you again in 2016!