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Dr. Bo Berhard - Responsible Gambling Around the World

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Dr. Bo Bernhard
Responsible Gambling Around the World: A Global Scan.

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Responsible Gaming Around the
  World: A Global Scan (and a
    “Vancouver Model”?)

Bo J. Bernhard, Ph.D.
Executive Direc...

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But first, a
personal history:

  “Kid” Jordan
and friends… on
the evolution of
   gambling

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Dr. Bo Berhard - Responsible Gambling Around the World

  1. 1. Dr. Bo Bernhard Responsible Gambling Around the World: A Global Scan.
  2. 2. Responsible Gaming Around the World: A Global Scan (and a “Vancouver Model”?) Bo J. Bernhard, Ph.D. Executive Director
  3. 3. But first, a personal history: “Kid” Jordan and friends… on the evolution of gambling
  4. 4. On gambling and universality… • Gambling is commonly thought of as a “historical and cultural universal” – all places, periods, and peoples. • But as Per Binde (2005) has shown us:
  5. 5. On gambling research and universality… a “Vancouver Model”? • UBC’s Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan’s recent salvo in Nature – a major challenge to psychology, economics, and indeed, to all of us • 96% of psychology publications represent 12% of the world’s population. • 2/3 of US psychology research: on American undergraduate students (“some of the most psychologically unusual people on earth”) • This is, in a word, “WEIRD”…
  6. 6. WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic
  7. 7. Henrich, et al’s challenge: • Is everything we learned in Psychology 101 wrong?! • For example, the Fundamental Attribution Error – a “universal,” except for… – “And yet, much of cognitive psychology emphasizes the centrality” of FAE • Ellen Langer and Endowment Theory
  8. 8. Uh-oh… • So Americans, Canadians, Aussies, and Western Europeans are WEIRD – and use very different analytical strategies (and perhaps gambling analytical strategies?) than non-Westerners • Uh-oh: as we might predict, the vast majority of problem gambling research… – In the past five years, there have been 378 peer-reviewed problem gambling studies in the literature. – Of these, only 15 (4%) include non-Western research subjects in the subject pool (96% Western subjects) – The “96% number” for the PG literature: 14% of the world’s population (psychology overall: 12%)
  9. 9. Culture matters • … the perils of global culture are familiar to those who study the gaming industry. • MGM Not-so-grand Opening, 1994:
  10. 10. You can’t even trust your professors… • Singapore and uncritically “exporting” the Las Vegas model • South Korea and uncritically “exporting” the manner in which social costs are handled • Russia and gambling “drawings”
  11. 11. In this spirit… • Let’s take a quick look around the gambling globe – for a few case studies of problem gambling, and how it is “treated” at a macro level in various gaming jurisdictions.
  12. 12. Australia • Australia likely stands alone as the global gaming jurisdiction where gambling is the most controversial – and perhaps most “endangered” as a species. • Never before, however, has the gaming industry faced a challenge quite like it faces right now, as culture and politics clash: in its parliament, several staunchly anti-gambling activists hold key positions of power, and have used their positions strategically in order to have the PG issue heard. – Things have calmed down, for now… – However, you know an issue has “arrived” when it hits the pop charts…
  13. 13. The China/Macao nexus • In the world’s most dynamic and rapidly- growing gaming industry, the problem gambling issue seems to be gathering momentum (even when it’s not labeled “problem gambling”) – Visa restrictions and PG – Often portrayed in media as a “corruption” issue among businesspeople, rather than a psychological or health issue. • But this is changing: recent regulatory requirements address RG in new ways
  14. 14. Indonesia – Excessive gambling as a moral- religious issue – Those who gamble “too much” are dealt with harshly and publicly • Religious bans on gambling • Punishment: public caning • Gender issues • (Meanwhile, Singapore takes advantage…)
  15. 15. Russia • Similarly harsh history of dealing with “gambling too much”! • On July 1, 2009, Russia went from massive levels of gambling availability nationwide to four remote “gambling zones” (none of which have really been developed yet). • Why did Russia decide to do this? Media content analysis (Vasiliev and Bernhard, 2011) – 1) “Two degrees of separation” problem gambling issues: Impacts on the family, workplace, youth – 2) Mafia influence • Finally “clean up the industry”
  16. 16. Singapore • A new socio-economic model – and not just across Asia. • It is important to remember how this all began: the Singaporean government required that all applicants for its two gaming licenses submit highly detailed and rigorous plans for the management of “social safeguards” – Without these safeguards, it was likely that gaming never would have been legalized. – As such, the “Singapore third way” approach to legalization path – legalization PLUS safeguards -- now has legitimacy and momentum
  17. 17. South Korea • The world’s most fascinating gambling laboratory? • Domestic gambling bans -- except at Kangwon Land – Domestic restrictions: 15 days/month – County restrictions: 1 day/month – A problem gambling treatment center in the parking lot. • An interesting blend: monopoly profits paired with some of the most aggressive on-site PG programs in the world
  18. 18. Conclusions • Now that gambling is truly global, we can benefit from careful study of successes and failures elsewhere in the gambling universe. • Each country and culture has its own unique relationship with the gambling act. • We no longer can talk about “gambling” or “the gaming industry” as if it were one, singular thing. • This is especially true given where gambling is “headed” … (Everywhere! All at once!)
  19. 19. “Cathedrals of consumption” (Ritzer, 2010)
  20. 20. But will the cathedral remain (Eadington, 2010)?
  21. 21. So what might we do? • In 2013, neglecting the vital construct of generalizability is especially sinful. – Recommendation? Go. Go. Go. – Global literacy: more important than ever – In our field: A new “Vancouver Model?” – The diversity of one’s N becomes even more crucial – let’s do this together?
  22. 22. So what might we do, part two? • The “bio-psycho-social” model – meant to imply a comprehensive approach – in fact stops too short. • This is especially true when cross-disciplinary, and cross- cultural thinking is a “now more than ever” requirement. • A bio-psycho-social-sociological-economic model? – And why stop there? – Again, let’s do this together?
  23. 23. Stay in touch! bo.bernhard@unlv.edu
  24. 24. We’re on Twitter @HorizonsRG Join the conversation by using #HRGC13

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