Thank you for your participation in this year's event!
GGTU in a virtual landscape: Prevention, effectiveness, and adaptations was an event that invited clinicians, community partners, and researchers to log into virtual spaces and participate in engaging and interactive continuing professional development opportunities aimed at enhancing participant knowledge of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on problem gambling, gaming and technology use and effective virtual prevention and treatment services.
Welcome to this year's Forum archive page. A collection of videos and supplemental materials that capture this year's knowledge sharing events.
*Note: Video files are password protected and available for registered attendees. The PowerPoint files are open to the public.
In 2021, we hope to stay in touch:
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January 26th, 2021: GGTU in a virtual landscape: Prevention and effectiveness
Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use forum opening remarks and keynote
In this opening keynote address, international speaker and Founder of Game Quitters, Cam Adair, introduced this year's theme of "GGTU in a Virtual Landscape", reflecting on some key lessons from 2020 and potential trends for 2021.
Preventing problematic internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr. Marc Potenza, Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neuroscience, at Yale School of Medicine presented the current understanding of how problematic internet use is conceptualized and considered and how the COVID-19 pandemic may be influencing online activities.
Watch video PowerPoint slides
Online treatment for Gambling Disorders
Dr. Daniela Lobo, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Staff Psychiatrist and Addictions Education Coordinator at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), reviewed the evidence regarding online treatment for gambling disorders and shared the experience of the Problem Gambling and Technology Use Service at CAMH in providing virtual assessment and treatment for problem gambling and technology overuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch video PowerPoint slides
January 27th, 2021: GGTU in a virtual landscape: Adaptations
Online gambling in and beyond 2020: What does research say and where do we go from here?
This virtual panel convened a group of experts to discuss important needs in online gambling research and how this research connects to policy. A specific highlight of the discussion included recent trends in online gambling, in particular focusing on pre-, during, and post-COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dr. Mark Griffiths, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction Director, International Gaming Research Unit Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University
- Nigel E. Turner, Ph.D., Independent Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Assistant Professor Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
- Dr. Sylvia Kairouz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University. Holder, Research Chair on Gambling.
Audience questions Watch video
The audience chat discussion during this informative session included several questions that we asked of the speakers following the event. Dr. Kairouz provided valuable insights, as follows:
Audience question: In our gambling and behavioural program, we discuss addiction in the brain and the very stimulating formula of "positive intermittent variable reinforcement" (when you have the chance to win, don't know when or how much it you could gain it reinforces that behaviour). I am noticing that games and social media platforms are now adopting this mode and it's increasing cross-addiction and further dependency of problematic behaviours. As clinicians, how can we approach working with such overstimulated brains when everything is largely online?
Dr. Kairouz: The clinicians we work with have been addressing this issue in a broader way. They work on screen time whether it is online gambling, gaming or other forms of addiction. The intervention model is still under development. However, some of the tips that worked well with young people is to focus on strategies to manage time on screens. These strategies include: 1) making sure to reserve dedicated time for other activities that do not involve screens; 2) installing some limitation/surveillance tools to limit time spent on online activities; 3) keeping a diary.
Audience question: Speaking of advertising, is there any information/data on whether or not companies have been increasing their ads, promos for gambling online during the pandemic? I've just noticed more and more ads during this time than I've ever seen in the past.
Dr. Kairouz: We collected data between March 14 and August 31 2020 on advertisement/promotion for three social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, twitter) and three main operators (Pokerstars, William Hill, 888), as well as Loto-Québec (the gambling state monopoly in the province of Québec). Although we do not have a baseline before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can clearly see variation in the amount of announcements/advertisements during the 5-month period. The number of announcements/advertisement increased the week following March 13 (i.e., announcement of a lockdown in various countries). Also, we observed an increase during some critical dates when measures of de-confinement were announced.
We have already published a factsheet on the effect of the pandemic on gambling markets and we will be publishing the second factsheet in late February specifically on advertisement. You can find our factsheets on the following link https://www.concordia.ca/research/lifestyle-addiction/tools/fact-sheets.html
Creatively adapting clinical services in a pandemic
Joined by four accomplished clinicians from community organizations: Megha Vatsya, Counsellor/Therapist from Problem Gambling and Technology Use Treatment Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health); Alexandria Baker, Addiction Counsellor from Pinewood Centre of Lakeridge; Lori Griffith, Clinical Coordinator at the Addiction Services of Thamas Valley; and Vince Pietropaolo, General Manager of COSTI Family and Mental Health Services. This session looks at ways that clinical programs have creatively adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduction Breakout session 1 Breakout session 2 Breakout session 3 Breakout session 4 Wrap up
Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use forum closing keynote
To close this year's GGTU Digital Forum, Dr. Sally Gainsbury, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, University of Sydney, Brain and Mind Centre, School of Psychology) highlighted potential trends and areas for research for 2021.
Watch video PowerPoint slides