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40 UNDER 40: Standing Up for Gaming

Kahlil Philander, Director of Social Responsibility, BCLC

40 UNDER 40: Standing Up for Gaming

Kahlil Philander is exactly the kind of person the gaming industry needs. His role as director of social responsibility for the British Columbia Lottery Corp. is the type of position which helps to further legitimize the gambling industry in the minds of people abroad.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia, Philander went east, where he received an M.A. in economics from the University of Toronto. However, his path would be carved after moving to Las Vegas and receiving his Ph.D. in hospitality administration and management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

      It was there he met Bo

Bernhard, who is internationally known as a leading researcher in problem gambling and social responsibility in gambling. Although Philander knew he wanted to work in the gaming industry, it was Bernhard who inspired him to work in the field of social responsibility.

Philander has a role which sees him helping shape new metrics for how the gaming industry evaluates a next-level, positive-play index. What that essentially means is that he is helping both the industry and government understand what it is that separates sessions of problem gambling from sessions of gambling for fun and within a person’s means.

Currently, Philander is helping to develop play management tools to remind people when they are approaching certain dollar amounts in a gambling session, or sessions. The idea is that by showing people the dollar amounts in numbers, as opposed to stacks of clay chips, they will better understand where they stand financially, in the moment. He said there is nothing more important than “being able to understand consumer behavior and speaking intelligently” regarding the matters at hand.

The program aims to help casinos re-evaluate performance, and how the performance will align with what the business wants to do. All programs created by the BCLC are certified by a third party, ensuring objectivity and transparency.

Philander says he appreciates how heavily invested the BCLC is with social responsibility.

When it comes to future goals, Philander said he wants to “continue to learn about the industry and its players. The industry is complex with its offerings and consumer base.” His main goal, however, is to “find ways gambling responsibilities can help customers.”

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