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

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Clearwater healthy living classes live-streamed for those in self-isolation

Those interested can follow along with yoga, body conditioning exercises, and mental wellness talks

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Clearwater RCMP look for missing Alberta man

Wayne Theriault was last believed to have been seen on March 24

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read