B.C.’s responsible gambling program expands to all gaming centres

GameSense to operate at more locations and in cozier environments

People needing help with their gambling will now have an easier way to access resources thanks to an enhanced BCLC program that was rolled out in Chilliwack this week.

Launched in 2009, the BC Lottery Corporation’s GameSense is a program focused on responsible gambling. Now, it’s been revamped and Chilliwack is the first gaming centre in B.C. to take advantage of it.

Officials were at Chances Chilliwack on Thursday to make the announcement.

Previously, only GameSense advisors were in place at B.C. casinos, but by the fall of 2019, advisors will be in every gambling facility across B.C.

In addition to the expanded GameSense advisor presence, BCLC has also invested in new GameSense information centres, which are welcoming spaces that encourage players to visit and learn more about how games work, talk with a GameSense advisor or just take a break.

Chances Chilliwack is the first community gaming centre in B.C. to have both a GameSense advisor plus a GameSense information centre. Michael Verhoef is the advisor in Chilliwack and will be manning the info booth at Chances.

“It is truly rewarding to be interacting with customers every day, sharing information on how the games work or how to stick to a budget, and encouraging players to adopt healthy behaviours and attitudes towards gambling,” said Verhoef.

He’ll be on hand to chat one-on-one with gamblers. He’s trained to answer questions like the odds of winning and losing, and myths about gambling.

GameSense is a responsible gambling program designed to encourage players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling addictions. It includes setting time and money limits, as well as being open and honest with friends and family about personal gambling habits.

READ MORE: Responsible gambling week offers guidance

READ MORE: Chances Chilliwack opened six years ago

BCLC wants to continue to remind players that gambling is a form of entertainment, not a way to pay off your mortgage or a retirement plan, says Sarah Morris, BCLC media relations.

“I am proud of our efforts to invest in and enhance player health supports here in Chilliwack,” said Jamie Wiebe, BCLC director of player health. “Research shows that on-site advisors are a valuable resource in the promotion of responsible play and reduction of gambling-related harms.”

The GameSense program has proven to be extremely effective in promoting responsible gambling and positive play behaviours. Currently, the advisors have approximately 55,000 interactions with customers at B.C. casinos each year.

Though not manned 24/7, the GameSense info centre at Chances Chilliwack will always be open and have resource information.

Verhoef will be there working peak hours Wednesdays to Sundays. His hours are posted publicly at the booth, alongside his work cellphone number, for those in need of help.

“I look forward to building strong relationships with players and staff here at Chances,” says Verhoef.


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Canadian warship HCMS Regina sails past Sidney

The vessel recently returned from the world’s largest naval exercise

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Hundreds walk, bike, drive through Saanich’s full moon lantern festival

Harvest Moon celebration draws crowds for pandemic-friendly fun

Reader photos: Sun rises and sets over Oak Bay

Sunrise from an early morning yoga session at Oak Bay Beach Hotel… Continue reading

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Most Read