Voluntary Self–Exclusion & Responsible Gambling
BCLC's Voluntary Self–Exclusion (VSE) program is a way for us to help people honour the decision to take a break from gambling.
The VSE program is voluntary. Players decide on the type and length of their self–exclusion. The program can be applied to facilities with slot machines, commercial bingo halls or PlayNow.com and can run from six months to one, two or three years.
VSE is a personal choice, and not something a friend or family member can impose on an individual. Self–exclusion begins as soon as a person signs on and cannot be cancelled or changed in any way until the term the individual chose expires.
At the time a person enrols in the program, they’re asked if they want to be referred to a problem gambling counsellor, and if they do, they’ll be contacted directly by the counsellor.
Helping people honour their commitment
We take steps to help individuals honour their commitment. We share information on self–excluded patrons among gambling facilities across British Columbia. We invest in technologies in an effort to supplement efforts by our surveillance team to identify self-excluded patrons and keep them from gambling facilities.
In addition, anyone who is self–excluded is ineligible for jackpots. This is intended as a deterrent to discourage people who have self–excluded from attending a gambling facility. Funds withheld are then used for responsible and problem gambling research projects.
In 2011, BCLC concluded a four–year longitudinal study on the Voluntary Self–Exclusion program from the perspective of program participants.
The study concluded the program is effective. In fact, 93 per cent of study participants said they would recommend the program to others.
This same year, at the request of BCLC and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, the Responsible Gambling Council completed a review of BCLC’s VSE program. The review provided recommendations for additional program enhancements. BCLC has implemented many of these and is continuing to look at ways of incorporating others.
VSE is an important component of BCLC’s responsible gambling program and we work with researchers and other gambling jurisdictions to determine develop contemporary best practices.
Problem Gambling Help Line
The B.C. Problem Gambling Help Line, 1-888-795-6111, is open 24/7 for confidential and free support for all British Columbians. Funded and administered by the Province, the help–line offers information, referral and crisis counselling related to excessive gambling.