In Review: The Casino Night Hosted by the Ottawa Chapter 

In Review: The Casino Night Hosted by the Ottawa Chapter 

Casino Night, also known as the hallmark event “Cast your wager on Research: How research is reshaping the lottery and gaming business,” was hosted by the MRIA Ottawa Chapter on May 5 in the maze-like Heart and Crown tavern located in Ottawa’s historic Byward Market. An audience of researchers and gaming enthusiasts listened as a powerful four-member panel discussed the evolution of gambling, named current-day challenges in Canada, and projected evidence-backed guesses based on their lengthy careers. The panelists shared their insights as they charted the history of gambling, named present-day challenges in Canada, and more. 

Richard Leigh-Bennett, a gaming industry entrepreneur and the owner of CAPR, Jeff Corcoran, the Executive Director, Marketing of the Lotteries and Online Gaming Corporation, Jose Tocasuche, Manager of Market Insights at the Canadian Bank Note, and Peter Fallis, Vice President, Marketing at the Canadian Bank Note had a discussion about how the research was influencing trends in the gambling industry. They debunked a few common misconceptions about gambling, the most notable of which was that gaming has grown “boring” in recent years. 

The key to obtaining valuable and timely research insights into the gambling sector is to have a solid understanding of the motives behind gamblers. The panelists concluded that the reasons young people gamble are significantly different from those of their older cohorts, which is true for many activities and habits in general. 

To give one example, according to Tocasuche, Millennials are more prone to be concerned with other games and to be attracted to games of ability rather than games of chance. Connecting with younger people who are more preoccupied with video games, Candy Crush, Farmville, and other games connected to their social networks is increasingly becoming a casino game-killer, even as the rise of online casinos gains popularity.

This is because these games are connected to their social networks. The panel members all agreed that it is exceedingly difficult to make lottery games relevant to younger generations. Even if e-games (such as betting on watching other people play games) are more common in other areas of the world than they are in Canada, Millennials have a preference for video games, and they prefer e-games even more. According to Leigh-Bennett, “Lottery jurisdictions need to understand how different populations play when targeting them.” 

The proliferation of online casinos is a major appeal for Millenials who are always on their smartphones and other internet-enabled gadgets. This demographic is leading the migration of people to the internet. According to a report titled “Online gaming:

A gamble or a sure bet?” published by KPMG, the market for online casino gambling, which encompasses poker, lotteries, bingo, and casinos, increased by 42 percent between 2008 and 2012, going from $21.2 billion to over $30 billion in 2012. In addition, according to, one of the industries with the most rapid expansion is that online casino, which has been expanding at an annualized pace of approximately 15% since year 2008. 

It has become clear that developing games that are appealing to a greater number of groups that each have their unique requirements is both a challenge and an opportunity. It is difficult to measure if a methodology is successful or unsuccessful since it is difficult to forecast whether a product will be successful or unsuccessful. The results of focus groups, panel discussions, and internet tracking studies are not completely reliable.

Fallis cited the game of tic-tac-toe as an example of a game that was at first regarded as a fantastic invention but ultimately failed to be successful in the casino sector. In addition, certain video games become popular while others do not. Corcoran noted that it can be challenging to provide management with an explanation for the triumphs of one product or a justification for the failures of another product because the results from different approaches vary. 

When the conclusion of the panel was based on the statements made by Leigh-Bennett, which stated that all researchers should be paid more and that there is no replacement for effective market research, the audience nodded their heads in agreement. 

After the discussion, a large number of gamblers and people who had never played before made their way to the blackjack and roulette tables, fueled by the desire to be successful at games of chance. The fortunate winners were able to take home a variety of fantastic items thanks to the generosity of local businesses. A huge thank you to the interesting industry experts who had traveled from all over the world and to the sponsors who made the Ottawa Chapter event possible! Keep an eye out on the portal space for upcoming MRIA activities both in your area and throughout the country.

In Review: The Casino Night Hosted by the Ottawa Chapter

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