Published Research and Insight Projects

Read recent and past research projects and reports published by RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices.

Responsible Gambling

  • Gambling During COVID-19 in Ontario

    March 2022

    The Responsible Gambling Council

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the everyday life of all Canadians. In Ontario, the impact has been reflected in the series of emergency measures declared by the provincial government starting March 17, 2020.

    With the limited availability of land-based gambling venues and in-person gambling-related help services throughout the duration of the pandemic, RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices (CABP), in collaboration with the Ontario Gambling Research Society (OGRS), rapidly conceived and implemented a three-wave provincial survey study to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on Ontarians’ gambling behaviours, financial stability, and mental health and wellbeing. The results of this work now provide an empirical record of the impact of COVID-19 on players, families, and communities.

    This study has also allowed RGC to make evidence-informed changes and improvements to its community outreach and prevention programming, as well as demonstrate leadership through supporting consumer protection and harm reduction in Ontario during COVID-19 and the expansion of online gambling.

    Download the Report

  • Prevention Insights: Gambling Harm Prevention in Chinese, South Asian, and Indigenous Communities

    December 2021

    The Responsible Gambling Council

    During the pandemic, between April and December 2020, evidence from RGC’s longitudinal gambling research in Ontario revealed that people of Chinese and South Asian descents who gambled had a much greater likelihood of experiencing severe gambling problems, intoxicated gambling, mental health problems, and endorsing risky gambling motives, compared to the general gambling population. While it is broadly known that these communities of gamblers, including Indigenous peoples, experience gambling problems disproportionately, there are many unanswered questions related to current trends in 2021 and how to effectively and appropriately increase awareness and knowledge of responsible gambling among these groups.

    This research project was designed to provide recommendations on messaging content and format to support the development of RGC’s Ministry of Health-funded problem gambling prevention programs. It identifies insights that are specific and relevant to key communities and aims to ensure that approaches moving forward are culturally sensitive and appropriate.

    Download the Report

  • Responsible Sports Betting in Canada: Summary Report

    September 2021

    The Responsible Gambling Council

    RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices is pleased to release the first Canada-wide single-event sports betting study supporting the development of evidence-informed strategies and best-practices for responsible gambling across the country—particularly in the online space.

    This baseline study includes a high level assessment of regulatory and operational issues relating to the legalization of single-event sports betting in Canada and an extensive survey (n=5,003) of player support needs and expectations.

    Download the Full Executive Summary


  • Determining Evidence-Informed Options for Responsible Gambling and Harm Minimization in the Field of Online Lottery

    October 2020

    The Responsible Gambling Council

    Online lottery is an area of gambling that has seen accelerated expansion in recent years and yet our understanding of responsible gambling best practices trails other forms of gambling operations, such as casino and sports betting.

    This project identified evidence supporting responsible gambling best practices relevant to online lottery through a systematic search and rapid review of research literature and assessed adoption of responsible gambling practices through a review of 13 international lottery operators. A synthesis of all information was developed to produce key recommendations for the future development of this field.

    Download the Report

  • The Emerging Impact of COVID-19 on Gambling in Ontario

    July 15 2020

    The Responsible Gambling Council

    In Ontario, COVID-19 has had a profound effect on public health and every-day life. In part, this impact has been reflected in the provincial government’s emergency measures declaration on March 17, 2020. These measures have resulted in the restriction of most hospitality and recreation businesses, including in-person gambling facilities, and many non-essential workplaces.

    In order to understand the effects of the pandemic on Ontarian gamblers and make evidence-informed changes and improvements to community outreach and prevention programming, the RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices rapidly conceived and implemented a provincial study.

    Download the Report

  • A Framework for VLT Safeguards in Canadian Hospitality Settings

    February 2019

    Responsible Gambling Council

    In the past two decades, there has been a considerable increase in our understanding of responsible gambling policies, strategies and safeguards for players in different gambling settings. The preponderance of the ‘best practices’ research and analysis however, has been focused on gambling venues like casinos and, more recently, online gambling. Responsible gambling programs and player supports in hospitality establishments such as bars, lounges and restaurants have received less attention.

    This report is intended to be one contribution towards closing that gap.

    The report provides an up-to-date picture of VLT gambling as well as the RG policies, player safeguards, and resources currently in place across Canada, and offers a series of recommendations which constitute a framework of best practice safeguards specific to VLT play in hospitality settings.

    Download the Report 

  • Responsible Gambling Best Practices for Player Incentives: Land-Based Venues

    March 2015

    Responsible Gambling Council

    This project focuses on player incentives at land-based venues and gathers information from Canadian and international jurisdictions. Literature and policy reviews, a focus group, and a two-day forum are all used to obtain data.

    On balance, player loyalty programs—as long as they are not seen exclusively as a marketing tool – have some potential benefits from a player protection perspective. That assumes that loyalty programs and other incentives actively build in tools and analytics that enable increased player information and safeguards. The report outlines best practices in the following areas:

    1. Promoting informed decision-making
    2. Ensuring marketing incorporates an RG perspective
    3. Optimizing RG in the earning and redemption of rewards
    4. Supporting at-risk players

    Download the Report

Gambling Problems & Harm

  • Best Practices for Self-Exclusion Reinstatement and Renewal

    March 2016

    Responsible Gambling Council

    This research project investigates and identifies best practices for self-exclusion reinstatement and renewal. Specific objectives are threefold:

    • Compile an inventory of reinstatement and renewal options applicable to both land-based and online gaming environments
    • Provide an assessment of pros and cons related to various reinstatement and renewal options
    • Synthesize the best available evidence and knowledge on promising reinstatement and renewal options

    The findings of this report favour an active reinstatement process that offers two streams based on the presence or absence of risk warning signs at the end of a self-exclusion term. Following the completion of a self-exclusion term, an operator assesses markers that may represent risks of future problems. The risk assessment process then takes into account such things as history of multiple breaches, as well as their risk signs including family concerns, records of unstable or threatening behaviour and other red flag indicators.

    Download the Report


Youth & Young Adults

  • Youth Gambling (8-24) in Ontario: Developing Best Practices for Prevention and Treatment

    September 2016

    Responsible Gambling Council

    This executive summary provides an overview of the results from a quantitative survey conducted with 2,651 adolescents (12-17), young adults (18-24), and parents of children 8-17 in Ontario to increase our understanding of the progression of gambling involvement from childhood to young adulthood.

    Key findings for gambling behaviours and motivations, gambling problems, attitudes towards gambling, and video game playing across age groups are reviewed.

    Download the Executive Summary 

Explore Past Reports

Presentations and Posters

Explore recent and past presentations and posters published by RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices


About the Responsible Gambling Council

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safer gambling by influencing positive change and advancing responsible gambling standards in Canada and around the world.

About RGC

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