Shelley White, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council

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The latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show is here, and Martin’s guest this time is Shelley White, the CEO of the Responsible Gaming Council, and one of the most influential and important names in the RG field.

Martin and Shelley have a fascinating discussion on numerous topics close to Shelley’s heart, including her career history and some of her achievements working with the YMCA, Kidney Association and United Way.

Shelley compares some of her previous roles to her current position in the gambling industry, and discusses whether or not she sees any patterns from those roles to this one. The two also get into key commonalities in tackling problems from Shelley’s previous roles to her position at the RGC.

Martin gets Shelley’s thoughts on the evolution of willingness to tackle responsible gambling issues in the industry, discusses the impact of the pandemic on gambling, as well as the role technology (specifically machine learning and AI) has to play in the future of responsible gambling.

Shelley also explains the lay of the land in Canada when it comes to gambling, responsible gambling and CSR, as well as the current regulatory status with regards to provinces legalising iGaming, and the single sport wagering bill.

Finally, Martin asks Shelley to lay out what responsible gaming means for her in just 60 seconds, and how her vision ties in to ensuring gambling is the entertainment it was designed to be.

00:02 Intro

02:55 Shelley’s residence in Toronto, what makes that part of the world special for Shelley and why she loves it. Shelley’s previous job roles working with the YMCA and addressing substance abuse in young people, helping a dramatic increase in organ donation sign-ups at the Kidney Association, and helping refugees build a new life for themselves at the United Way.

05:50 Does Shelley see any patterns from her previous roles, or methods she's used, that can apply to gambling and her role at the RGC? Key commonalities in tackling these issues is the power of collaboration, working with corporate, public and non-profit sectors, and leveraging their unique resources/skills/expertise.

07:06 Is the willingness of the industry in tackling these issues increasing? And what has motivated this evolution? Shelley’s thoughts on seeing a real commitment from operators to build a sustainable responsible business, and that player health is a key part of it.

09:20 Shelley leading the RGC in Canada, working with her namesake Keith Whyte in the USA (Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling) sharing a common vision as well as a last name, supporting and creating a harm prevention culture, and the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise.

11:40 The Responsible Gambling Council, what the vision is, what they've achieved, and what their overall goal is.

15:50 Shelley's role at RGC, and in responsible gambling in Canada and globally. With Canada just legalising single sport wagering, and the province of Ontario currently regulating a future iGaming, how will the Ontario market evolve? Will other Canadian provinces follow suit? Shelley’s thoughts on the long journey of over 10 years for the single sport wagering.

Shelley tells Martin about working with operators and regulators, and how she expects legal iGaming in Ontario by December, with BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan set to follow.

21:25 How has the pandemic influenced the RG landscape? What role will technology play in protecting customers going forward? Shelley tells Martin about the impacts of the pandemic on gambling based on their research, and then gives her thoughts on some of the exciting machine learning and artificial intelligence technology on the horizon that can enable operators to recognise when customers hit a risk category, and can alter messaging based on this.

28:05 Advice to those who want to get involved in the CSR world, what can she and her peers learn from those at the start of their career? Why many leaders in CSR stumble into the industry, the importance supporting each other, being inspired by each other. Why young people with their symbiotic relationship with technology and strong social conscience can help current leaders learn, and the value of a reciprocal relationship between current and future leaders

31:56 Diversity, Shelley transforming the RGC to a diverse organisation, the value of humanity and how important it is for them, embracing diversity, working hard to build a sense of belonging, importance of hearing diverse perspectives, learning from expanding into international markets, Shelley’s pride at being part of the All-In Diversity Project

36:15 Shelley’s thoughts on Responsible Gaming in just 60 seconds

38:15 Outro

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