Williams, Robert

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    Illegal gambling in Canada
    (University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences, 2021) Mackey-Simpkin, Sean; Williams, Robert
    Illegal gambling has historically been common in Western countries due to the fact that legalized forms have largely been prohibited. However, over the past 50 years most forms of gambling have been legalized. One of the main justifications for legalization is that it forces black-market operators to close and diverts money to governments that is then utilized for societal benefit. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the validity of this premise. A brief review of the literature of legalizing alcohol, cannabis, and prostitution on black-market operators shows this premise to be largely true for alcohol, untrue for prostitution and intermediate for cannabis. A more comprehensive review of this issue was undertaken for gambling legalization in Canada. Four sources of data were examined: the rate of criminal charges for illegal gambling in Canada from 1977 to 2018; self-reported past-year involvement in illegal gambling in a national online panel sample of 10,199 adult gamblers in 2018; self-reported past-year involvement in age restricted forms of gambling among adolescents aged 15-17 in 2002 and 2018 from the Canadian Community Health Survey; and the opinions of key informants. The results confirm that illegal gambling has substantially declined with legalization. However, the evidence also indicates that a) this decline was not immediate, but rather occurred over a period of 10-20 years, and b) illegal gambling still exists to a limited extent. Potential reasons are discusse
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    Traditional Indigenous forms of gambling and games
    (University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology, 2021) HeavyShield, Marley; Williams, Jennifer; Williams, Robert
    There is limited research that explores Indigenous gambling and gaming, and the research that does exist focuses primarily on problem gambling and addiction. Western understandings of gambling are not an appropriate lens to provide a full understanding of the cultural depth and meaning behind traditional Indigenous games. Indigenous gaming has existed since pre colonization and occurs in many Indigenous cultures throughout North America. The following research project explores traditional Blackfoot forms of gambling and games. The current study used a mixed methods approach to collect data on Blackfoot traditional games and forms of gambling. The first method was an anonymous, online survey that collected data on games played today and demographics. The second method was key informant interviews with Elders from the local Blackfoot community and collected data regarding the traditional context of Blackfoot games. Survey results indicate that the most common game still played today is handgame. Interview results corroborate this finding. Results of the interviews, drawn from a thematic analysis performed in NVivo 12, show that gambling, types of games and their rules, evident change, and relationships are the most prominent themes surrounding traditional games. Traditional games are multifaceted at their core and serve various meaningful purposes in the lives of players, with the majority of players viewing games positively. Through a combination of scientific methods and Indigenous ways of knowing comes a history of Blackfoot gaming, from tradition, through colonization, to the post-colonial present day – in which these games continue to provide a connection to culture, spirituality, and community for Blackfoot Peoples. By considering traditional games and forms of gambling from an Indigenous perspective, further research can be better informed when engaging with Indigenous populations and exploring Indigenous-related topics