Fantasy Sports – A Growing Pastime

Posted: January 26, 2015 in News

Participation in sports-related fantasy games, enabling individuals to pick or draft professional or collegiate athletes onto their teams, has become increasingly popular. In fantasy sports, a league is usually comprised of roughly a dozen participants who use statistics from actual sporting events to compete against one another.  The participants function as virtual managers of their respective “fantasy teams”, drafting players to form “teams”. Research has shown both gambling and fantasy games share some similar major characteristics. Like other forms of gambling, fantasy sports often result in possible monetary loss or gain. Fantasy sports players spend a great deal of time watching sports (upwards of 18 hours per week) and spend considerable time “managing” their teams.  To read more about fantasy sports and college student athletes, refer to Loredana Marchica’s article in our Fall newsletter.

Holiday Campaign Momentum Strong!

Posted: September 25, 2014 in News

The annual Holiday Lottery Campaign is here!  2014 marks the seventh year that the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the NCPG have partnered with lottery organizations in North America and around the world to share the message that lottery tickets should not be purchased as holiday gifts for children. This widely endorsed corporate social responsibility campaign is endorsed by NASPL and participation is free. We welcome lottery organizations who wish to partner with us in this educational initiative to join the Holiday Lottery Campaign and build positive media through responsible gaming messages. Campaign support from North American and international lotteries has grown tremendously and the momentum is strong.  We look forward to 2014 being our best collaborative campaign ever!

Holiday-Campaign-2014-Poster (2)

There is strong evidence suggesting that 70-80 per cent of adolescents have gambled for money in the past year, with approximately 30 per cent doing so on a weekly basis.

This year marks the sixth year that the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling have partnered with dozens of lottery corporations around the globe to increase public awareness about the impact of giving lottery products as gifts to minors.

“We know that one significant risk factor for problem gambling is early age of onset of gambling behavior and many problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood – around the ages of nine or ten,” explained Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling. “A recent study revealed that youngsters who received instant lottery tickets as a gift tended to develop more dangerous gambling patterns.  We encourage adults to reduce risk factors in their childrens’ lives by keeping a person’s age in mind when purchasing lottery tickets.”

“We know that playing the lottery at a young age is inappropriate and can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life,” said Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGillUniversity. “We welcome the collaborative efforts of lottery corporations worldwide to help raise awareness about this issue, as together we can make a difference in preventing underage gambling and gambling problems.”

This year the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) Board of Directors, and ultimately the entire membership, unanimously approved a resolution encouraging participation in the Holiday Campaign.  Whyte stated, “the unanimous endorsement of the campaign by NASPL is a significant step that sends a strong signal across the entire gaming industry.  We believe responsible gaming is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit.  We are proud to work with NASPL and look forward to additional partnership opportunities.”

The organizers thank the Kentucky Lottery Corporation for providing graphic design services for the campaign this year. Participating lotteries to date this year include:

AB Svenska Spel (Sweden), Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Atlantic Lottery, Arizona Lottery, Austrian Lotteries, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, California Lottery, Camelot (United Kingdom) , Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o. (Croatia),  Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, La Française des Jeux (France),  Loto-Québec,  Manitoba Lotteries, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Massachusetts State Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery,  New Mexico Lottery,  North Carolina Education Lottery, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation,  Ohio Lottery Commission, Oklahoma Lottery Commission, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, Saskatchewan Lotteries, State Lottery of Serbia, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Texas Lottery, Vermont Lottery Commission, Virginia Lottery,  Washington’s Lottery 

If you give a lottery product as a gift please make sure you keep the person’s age in mind.

For more information contact:

Global Gaming Expo-Toys for Grownups

Posted: October 1, 2013 in News

Centre team members toured the floor of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. The G2E, the largest trade show and conference event for the gaming industry, features  the latest offerings from companies in all sectors of the gaming industry including games, gaming machines, services and even non-gaming amenities such as food, beverages and entertainment.   With over 455 companies represented and 17,000 delegates registered, the exposition floor was buzzing. Trends in the slot machine sector included nostalgic games from adults’ youth such as Connect Four, Monopoly, Yahtzee and Clue and a profusion of games incorporating child-like themes including Peter Pan and Batman.  Additionally, social media brand recognition was brought into the slot machine realm with games such as Bejeweled.  Another new and growing trend seems to lie in interactive slot machines.  These machines incorporate touch screen capability along with the standard push button/one arm pull mechanisms.  These new machines enable players to interact with the games in a familiar way, adding a new dimension to the playing experience.

The gaming industry and in particular land-based casino operators want to  provide a complete entertainment package for their players including the latest in machine games, spectacular facilities and abundant dining and shopping options. Gaming is big business and operational efficiency is paramount.   To this end, metrics software programs for slot machines have been developed that are used to track the financial viability of machines on the casino floor and enable casino operators to assess machine profitability at very exacting levels.  Our team viewed the latest offerings of these applications.

Gaming generates incredible revenues and is portrayed as a very glamorous industry with a no shortage of new toys for grownups!

NCRG Scientific Achievement Award

Posted: October 1, 2013 in News

Congratulations to Dr. Derevensky on receiving the 2013 NCRG Scientific Achievement Award in September at the 14th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas, Nevada. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of gambling disorders. The award was presented to Dr. Derevensky by Mr. Alan Feldman, chairman of the NCRG and Executive Vice President of Global Government and Industry Affairs at MGM Resorts International.


2013 Holiday Campaign

Posted: September 1, 2013 in News

The summer has ended and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) have once again launched the annual Holiday Campaign.  This widely endorsed responsible gambling initiative highlights the risks of giving lottery tickets and scratch cards as holiday gifts to minors. Support for the campaign by North American and international lottery corporations has grown incrementally every year since the program inception. Help us make the 2013 campaign the most successful to date – it is never too early for your lottery corporation to join! For more information contact Lynette Gilbeau at the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems ( or Jocelyn Wilcox at the NCPG (

Playcenter Insert 2013 PRESS

The Importance of Prevention

Posted: April 9, 2013 in News

In these rapidly changing times, youth are growing up faster than ever before.  Social media outlets and ubiquitous Internet proliferation have converged allowing today’s youth to have more readily available access to trends, information and pop culture.  At the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, we recognize that education and awareness are key components in protecting our vulnerable youth.   For many years, we have joined forces with the Lester B. Pearson School Board of Montreal (the largest English-language school board in Quebec), Portage Adolescent Residential Rehabilitation Center (substance abuse rehabilitation center), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Montreal Urban Police (SPVM),  Risk-Within-Reason, and Foster’s Pavilion (substance abuse rehabilitation program).  We call our group ‘Partners in Prevention’.   Annually, the Partners host a multi-night event aimed at Grade 6 students and their parents to promote healthy choices in an attempt to minimize adolescent risky behaviours.  For the 2013 event, the Partners initiated a new format with each Partner member organization hosting an interactive station for Grade 5 and 6 students and their parents.

The participants were divided into small groups and each group circulated through the stations every 12 minutes. For this event, the YGI team used our Teen Gambling Jeopardy-style game.  During play, in our booth, the children were divided into 2 teams and competed to answer gambling-related questions in categories such as Fact vs. Myth, Everyone Knows That, Against All Odds and Wild Card.  The game format permits us to disseminate information and take home messages in a fun and engaging manner.  We received tremendously positive feedback from the parents, children and organizers attending the event who commented that our game was innovative, interactive and highly engaging.

The experience is always rewarding, entertaining and beneficial. The Partners team members are dynamic and passionate about protecting youth.   Through our participation in the ‘Partners in Prevention’ events, we underline our commitment to education and awareness.  By presenting gambling-related facts and information to both youth and their parents, we increase the scope of awareness related to gambling.