Ten Years of New Horizons: Looking Back at a Decade of Learning to Inform the Future of Player Health

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BCLC has hosted the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference for the past decade. As I look back on what we’ve accomplished, I see an industry dedicated to improving our understanding of how to achieve better player health outcomes, through the games, programs and support tools and services we deliver.

Since 2013, BCLC has proudly hosted this annual event, giving researchers, industry representatives, policy-makers and treatment and prevention professionals an opportunity to drive critical conversations that have advanced knowledge about player health.

Over the past decade, thousands of attendees and speakers have spearheaded conversations and shared research crucial to moving and improving player-health outcomes now and into the future; sessions about player perceptions, products and environment, recognizing and responding to harm, social program design and delivery, the role of stigma in addressing addictions, safeguards and prevention, organizational culture, social purpose and so many more.

This year we’re expanding our understanding of how to support players with positive decision making by leveraging learnings from Stanford University neuroscientist, Netflix presenter and New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker David Eagleman.

I’m so excited to hear from David and all of our incredible speakers, but before this year’s New Horizons gets underway, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the most memorable quotes from the past 10 years.

Lt. Gen. (ret) The Honorable Roméo Dallaire, 2019 keynote speaker: “Status quo is regression and inaction is a form of action. We need to look to the future, otherwise we are falling behind. There is no dishonour in being injured psychologically. The dishonour is stigmatizing it.”

John Kelly, 2018 session speaker: “It’s very important to have the industry engaged at all times. As an example, cars today are safer because the industry fixed them – it’s important that the industry be always engaged in seeking solutions. The ultimate panacea would be if responsible gambling became a competitive advantage.”

Dr. Robert Ladouceur, 2013 session speaker: “There is a lot of work being done on the speed of machine, type of games, the environment – I see that as external control and it has a lot of positive impact. But at the same time, we want to promote individual decision where those external controls will bring more personal, individual control where informed choice will be more accurate, we’ll have more means to make good choices.”

As we head into this year’s conference on March 9 and 10, we’ve posted the presentations and discussions from our first nine online – where you can get to know where it all began and prepare for an exciting two-days of workshops, presentations, in-depth discussions and virtual poster session. I hope you’ll join us.

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