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

Brian Edward Abrosimo, a convicted child kidnapper. (VPD photo)
Child kidnapper threatened to slit his own throat in halfway house

Brian Abrosimo had his release revoked in August

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher credentials suspended for two weeks for grabbing, shoving, and yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

A woman gets her flu shot. (Fraser Health/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Flu shots are ready for Aldergrove residents

Four in 10 who plan to get a shot say they will go to a pharmacy to get the vaccinations

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse, off duty cop testifies in Langley murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Elder Jean Dan and others at the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society are accepting donations of clean new and gently used adult winter coats until Friday, Oct. 30. (Stephanie Croteau/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley-based group gathering up adult coats to donate

The Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society has an adult coat drive on until Friday, Oct. 30

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Lawrence Nadessan, 44, was last seen on Oct. 24 at 11:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge man missing since Saturday is extremely out of character, family says

Cameras saw him leaving home, not dressed for the weather

A group of Abbotsford secondary principals’s and vice-principals are at a retreat in Whistler this weekend. (Whistler.com photo)
Abbotsford principals attend retreat in Whistler despite COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Reported group of 20 did follow COVID-19 protocols during Whistler Pro-D event, says school district

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

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read