Social & Community Research

Focal Research is Atlantic Canada’s only full-service market and social research company. Focal has designed and conducted ground-breaking research in the social research field, developing leading edge methodological and analytical techniques along the way. Our population-based research methods are second to none and, currently, are being applied by industry experts worldwide.

Gaming Research

Focal Research is a world leader in gaming research. We have been conducting research into the gaming and gambling practices of Atlantic Canadians since 1989. Our involvement in gaming research has included research undertaken for manufacturers and industry related clients, as well as government and social agencies. The diversity of our experience in this area has contributed to a more integrated understanding of this complex and dynamic industry and the social implications of the various gaming activities available in our region.

Focal’s gaming and problem gambling related experience includes prevalence studies, longitudinal follow-up studies, electronic gaming machine research, and responsible gaming. Focal has also consulted nationally and internationally on gaming, problem gambling research methodologies and outcomes, and responsible gaming.

Video Lottery Terminal Research

Throughout the 1990’s, Focal Research conducted a wide range of video lottery specific research. The body of research has made a significant contribution towards the collective understanding of video lottery player profiles, gambling behaviors, expenditures, play patterns, and attitudes and opinions.

At the same time, Focal leveraged its expertise in video lottery gaming to conduct other VL player research. In June 1997, Focal Research was commissioned by the Nova Scotia Department of Health, Problem Gambling Services to develop an extensive and comprehensive profile of video lottery players and related gambling activities in the province of Nova Scotia. The 1997/98 Nova Scotia Video Lottery Players Survey represents the first large-scale, detailed study of video lottery players undertaken, on a national or international basis. In the opinion of various experts in the field of gambling, this research has made a significant contribution to the understanding of gambling and, in particular, the implications of video lottery gaming. The results of this survey were released publicly in December 1998 and are available through the Nova Scotia Department of Health Problem Gambling Services. The research has received extensive and positive peer review.

Recently, Focal completed the 2000 Regular Video Lottery Players' Follow-up Study for the Nova Scotia Department of Health, Problem Gambling Services. This study represents one of the first longitudinal studies to specifically examine the natural history of the development and resolution process of problem gambling for electronic gambling machines (EGM) gambling. The findings from this research will be available in 2001.

For the New Brunswick Department of Health and Wellness Focal is conducting a study of problem gambling among the general New Brunswick adult population and among seniors specifically. In addition, we are evaluating the effectiveness of the new Responsible Gaming Features Video Lottery Terminals in reducing excessive gambling for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.