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2017 Keynote Speakers



Margaret Trudeau - Celebrated Canadian and Mental Health Advocate

Changing My Mind

Canadians fell in love with Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s beautiful bride when he brought her to the world stage as the youngest First Lady in the history of the country. Yet, as time went by, Margaret was unprepared for public life, and plagued by mood swings. After three sons with Pierre, the marriage ended. She then remarried and had two more children. But the tragic loss of her son, Michel, in a skiing accident and the passing of Pierre Trudeau a few years later, were too much to bear, and she became severely ill.

Today, Margaret has rebuilt her life once again. Now, she brings her formidable life story to the stage in her quest to help others, sharing her message of resilience with the goal of helping to inspire others and to erase the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Ms. Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon, celebrated both for her role in the public eye and as a respected mental-health issues advocate.


Luke Clark - Director of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC

Deconstructing the Modern Slot Machine: Psychological Ingredients and Personal Vulnerabilities

The dominant contemporary model of Gambling Disorder is of a ‘behavioural addiction’, underpinned by neurobiological factors (e.g. brain chemistry, genetics, personality) that render a subset of people at high risk for gambling problems. Research over the past decade has made considerable advances in describing these vulnerabilities, which overlap with known risk factors for substance addictions. However, this approach neglects the significant role played by the game itself: different forms of gambling are associated with differential risk of harm. In many jurisdictions including B.C., modern slot machines rank among the most harmful forms of gambling. At a psychological level, these are sophisticated and complex games. I will describe recent research identifying some of the key ingredients of modern slot machines, including their capacity for ‘immersion’, the impact of sensory feedback, and credit-based payment options. These ingredients each raise implications for ongoing responsible gambling practices. The next phase of research in this field will delineate how these ingredients interact with the personal vulnerabilities to disordered gambling.

2017 Speakers 


Dr. Daniel Brown, Melissa Sleightholm, Dr. Kevin Harrigan

Classification of Slot Machines in Ontario: Providing Relevant Information to Players (audio file) (slide presentation)


Dr. Sally Gainsbury

Who ‘Likes’ Gambling? The Impact of Social Media Marketing (audio file) (slide presentation)


Dr. John Carsley, Sandy Garossino, Paul Pellizzari

Casinos in Local Communities: Experiences and Outcomes (watch video)


Dr. Tim Fong

The Quality of Quantity - Behavioural Indicators of Risky Online Gambling (audio file) (slide presentation)


Dr. Tilman Lesch

The Quality of Quantity - Behavioural Indicators of Risky Online Gambling (audio file) (slide presentation)


Ryan Persaud

Integrating Insights: Responsible Gambling Research Shares a Different Perspective of Players (audio file) (slide presentation)


Hyoun S. (Andrew) Kim

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Social Casino Gambling (audio file) (slide presentation)


Dr. Jeffrey L. Derevensky

Fantasy Sports Wagering: Should We Be Concerned? (audio file) (slide presentation)


Janine Robinson, Stacy Shaw

Creating a Business Case for Responsible Gambling Training (audio file) (slide presentation)


Alan Feldman, Jim Lightbody, Laura Piva-Babcock

View from the Top: Leadership Perspectives on Responsible Gambling (watch video)


Paul Smith, Dr. Jamie Wiebe

Influencing Players on the Casino Floor (audio file)

Jennifer Roberts

Responsible Gambling in the Technology World (audio file) (slide presentation)


Dr. Debi LaPlante

Evaluating Responsible Gambling Programs in Emerging Gambling Markets (audio file) (slide presentation)


Lindsay Richardson

Supporting Gaming Workers: Research Insights and Program Outcomes (audio file) (slide presentation)