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January 28, 2014 12:15 ET

New Horizons Conference Highlights British Columbia's Commitment to Responsible Gambling

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 28, 2014) - The Province of British Columbia and BCLC reaffirmed their commitment to advance understanding of responsible gambling at the opening of the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference today.

"We know that gambling is an activity the majority of British Columbians enjoy for entertainment," said Michael de Jong, Finance Minister and Minister Responsible for Gaming. "This conference is about continuing the discussion with the best and the brightest minds in the field of responsible gambling."

The Province has committed approximately $11 million to responsible gambling education awareness and problem gambling services this year.

The Province's commitment includes a $2 million investment over five years to establish the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. Minister de Jong announced that UBC has chosen the Centre's first Director, Dr. Luke Clark, from the University of Cambridge in England.

"Dr. Clark brings a wealth of research expertise in this field. British Columbia is honoured to have him onboard," said Minister de Jong.

BCLC President and CEO Michael Graydon joined in welcoming Dr. Clark.

"This conference reflects BCLC's commitment to advancing responsible gambling practices and to have open, honest dialogue with global leaders in the field," said Graydon. "Dr. Clark and his researchers will advance B.C.'s leadership in this field by providing independent, made-in-B.C. research which I look forward to hearing about at future New Horizons conferences."

The University of British Columbia spoke to the significance of the commitment.

"The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC will provide innovative and productive research into the social and behavioral aspects of gambling," announced Gage Averill, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UBC. "Further, the high-impact research conducted at the Centre will contribute to scientific knowledge, support policy and program development and help build opportunities for graduate and post-graduate student training."

The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC is expected to open in September 2014.

The announcements were made at the launch of the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference, taking place January 27-29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The conference features 21 guest speakers from around the world and over 250 local, national and international delegates representing nine countries.

New Horizons brings together community, industry and leaders in responsible gambling research and policy to learn, collaborate, and share information and best practices. More information about New Horizons is available online: http://horizonsrg.bclc.com/

BCLC is a provincial Crown corporation offering socially responsible gambling entertainment while generating revenue to benefit health care, education and community groups across B.C.

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