Expert Reviews

Dr. Harold J. Wynne
Wynne Resources, Edmonton

I applaud the efforts of the NSGC to commission the appropriate research and expert opinion to support this decision and I admire the commitment of the organization to help Nova Scotia gamblers make informed choices about their VLT play.  These RGFs (Responsible Gaming Features) will enable gamblers who choose to use them, to monitor their own play and this monitoring, in itself, may help some gamblers limit their play or quit playing altogether.

I believe the most effective RGFs are those that directly influence the EGM (Electronic Gaming Machines) gambler’s play.  Information on how much the player has spent at any given session and/or over the past week or month is very tangible and will cause some to ponder their expenditure patterns and limit their play or cease altogether.  It will be very important to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the RGFs mounted on the Nova Scotia VLTs and I am pleased to see that NSGC plans to conduct this research.

I am most impressed by the commitment of Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation to help VLT players control their play…I truly believe that NSGC is genuinely committed to offering the safest VLT gaming environment possible and, in this quest, Nova Scotia is clearly leading all other jurisdictions world-wide.  I strongly encourage you to share your vision for VLT gaming with other Canadian and international jurisdictions and to continue your commitment to helping problem gamblers.

Focal Research Consultants
There was a positive impact detected for lower-risk and moderate-risk players that was consistent with NSGC’s objective to assist players to make more informed decisions about their gambling.

Dr. Bo Bernhard
International Gaming Institute
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Given the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation’s stated desire to promote responsible gambling behaviors, it would seem that this device provides a powerful “tool in the tool chest” for players seeking to do exactly that.”

Dr. John McMullin
Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Saint Mary’s University

In conclusion, the research findings evince a clear direction for policy formation and action:

  1. Implement a player card technology system on a province-wide basis to assist play management and facilitate decision making gambling operators, managers, and overseers;
  2. Implement all of the RG use features that were tested in the trial into the province-wide system;
  3. Implement a voluntary use and mandatory player registration system.  While there is some variance in this research concerning the preferred type of registration system, the weight of the evidence collected on Nova Scotia players suggests good support for mandatory registration;
  4. Accompany the implementation of the province-wide RG and technology system with a social marketing awareness campaign that educates players, stakeholders, and the public about the utility of the technology as part of a comprehensive gambling strategy linking prevention, counseling, treatment, and consumer protection; and
  5. Conduct continuous research using the best comparative data available (pre-measures) on player conduct in advance of system implementation in order to have a solid foundation for RG impact analysis and consumer satisfaction outcomes going forward.

Such an approach to VLT policy seems sound and sensible, and is in compliance with the evidence based findings of the research studies.