Public Health Research

Focal Research is one of Atlantic Canada’s only full-service market and public health research companies. Focal has designed and conducted ground-breaking research in the public health 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.

Public Health Gambling Research

Focal is a world leader in gambling related social research and has conducted research on gambling practices of Atlantic Canadians since 1990. Our involvement in has included consulting 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 gambling activities available in our region and the rest of the world.

Focal Research Public Health Gambling Research

Focal’s 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 safer gambling.

Video Lottery Terminal/EGM 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. 

Focal then 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. 

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

The findings of this research along with many more recent studies and publications can be found on our Publications Page.