Brett Jackson, Director of Game Development, Bally Technologies. Brett Jackson is an Australian game designer working in Las Vegas. He designs poker machines as Director of Game Development for American gambling company Bally Technologies.
Dr Kevin Harrigan, University of Waterloo, Canada. Dr Kevin Harrigan is co-director of the Problem Gambling Research Team at the Canadian University of Waterloo’s Gambling Research Lab. He studies how computer science and math/statistics are applied in the designing of poker machines, and has been a technical Expert Witness regarding their programming.
Dr Natasha Dow Schüll, author, Addiction by Design. Dr. Natasha Dow Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology and Society. Her most recent book, Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, draws on extended research among compulsive gamblers and the designers of poker machines to explore the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction.
Marcus Fortunato, Manager, Tictabs Gaming, USA. Marcus Fortunato has 18 years experience designing poker machines for major gambling companies in Nevada.
Dr Charles Livingstone, Monash University. Dr Charles Livingstone is one of Australia’s foremost gambling researchers. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University, and has undertaken numerous research projects and consultancies for state and federal departments.
Carolyn Hirsh, Former Victorian MP. Carolyn Hirsh is a former Australian politician who represented Silvan Province in the Victorian Legislative Council. Hirsh was the government ‘whip’ for the Labor-led government that introduced Pokie machines to the state. Hirsh later became addicted to Pokies, and resigned from politics after a drinkdriving offence. Hirsh detailed her battle with addiction in her memoir, Death and Addiction: A powerful story of a mother’s reaction to her daughter’s suicide.
Prof Hans Brieter. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Northwestern University, USA. Prof Hans Brieter has conducted experiments showing monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.
Rev. Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia. Tim Costello is one of Australia’s most recognised voices on social justice, leadership and ethics, and a prominent campaigner for gambling reform. Tim currently serves as Chair of the Community Council of Australia, the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce and the National Australia Bank’s Social Responsibility Advisory Council. He has written numerous books, including co-writing Wanna Bet? Winners and Losers in Gambling’s Luck Myth.
Prof Wolfram Schultz, Cambridge University, UK. Dr. Wolfram Schultz is a world leading authority on the neuroscience of reward processing in the brain. His laboratory has conducted a broad range of studies into how dopamine and other modulatory control neurons work.
Michael Shackleford, “Wizard of Odds”. Michael Shackleford is an American mathematician and actuary, best known for his professional analysis of the maths of casino games, including his popular websites, The Wizard of Odds and The Wizard of Vegas. Shackleford received much media attention when he published a paper in 2002 releasing rankings of Las Vegas casinos’ pokie machine payout percentages, widely considered secretive or unavailable. He has brought media attention to unfair gambling practices in many instances. He works as a consultant to the gaming industry.
Rob Oakeshott, Former Federal Independent MP. Rob Oakeshott was an independent member of the NSW and federal parliaments during the years 1996-2013. He was one of a handful of independent MPs to hold the balance of power when pokie reforms were being pursued in the minority Gillard government in 2010.