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

GameSense to operate at more locations and in cozier environments

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

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.

 

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Offices will re-open to the general public on June 21. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville’s city hall offices to open again on June 21

Offices will resume pre-COVID hours of operation

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read