British Columbia Lottery Corporation has always been working towards creating a healthy relationship between patrons and their gambling habits. One of the initiatives in this direction was no other than the annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference gathering experts working to promote responsible gambling on a day-to-day basis.
This year saw the ninth edition of this responsible gambling congregation seeking practical solutions to problematic behavior and tendencies. Upwards of 230 individuals participated in this year’s virtual edition of the congregation of like-minded people. It took place online, in order to protect all individuals during these trying times worldwide. British Columbia and Canada, the United States, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, England, and Macau had their representatives participate.
New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference
What should be pointed out is that there were as many as 14 sessions part of this year’s edition coming with the theme Player Health Reboot: Resetting the Future. This futuristic approach aimed to create a clear path for the people seeking an improvement of their relationship with gambling. Keynote speaker Futurist Sanjay Khanna was one of the first individuals to speak on the subject of gambling innovation down the road.
The constantly changing world has its impact on the gambling field among many others and he pointed out that cutting-edge technology could prepare the traditional pastime activity for modernization in the future. This would make it much more competitive, as he put it. Dr. Brett Abarbanel, Director of Research at the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was also among the speakers part of this year’s edition of the virtual conference.
She spoke on the blurred lines between eSports, social gambling, and video games implementing loot boxes. Some of their elements could be perceived as a form of gambling and have a problematic nature. Dr. Abarbanel said that the definition of gambling nowadays might not be the same as back in the days. It could be recalled that back in October 2020, Electronic Arts Inc. and Electronic Arts Canada Inc. face a class-action lawsuit in B.C., targeting the loot boxes the video games come with.
Bing Feng, Senior Research Associate at Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman School of Management, spoke on the subject of sludge, also commonly referred to as the opposite action of nudge. One of the ways in which patrons could develop a healthy relationship with gambling are the introduction of positive tools.
Some of those will be setting limits, as well as tracking behaviors impulse control. Players will also have a better risk perception, and potentially seek alternative activity on a regular basis, trying to not dive too deep in their gambling sessions. The introduction of better interventions and solutions is also key in this context.
The first weeks of this year saw the Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling online session. It focused on the ways in which financial-services firms could support players. Natalie Ledward, Vulnerability Manager at Monzo Bank Ltd., was the session speaker who pointed this out.
Source: “Highlights from New Horizons in Responsible Gambling 2021: Player Health Reboot: Resetting the Future”, BCLC.com, March 30, 2021