BCLC will enhance customer education, support and information related to player health next year when it expands and assumes full responsibility for the GameSense Advisor (GSA) program. Currently in place at every casino in British Columbia, the GSA program will also expand to all Community Gaming Centres (CGCs) in B.C.
The enhancements follow a third-party review that determined that GSAs provide necessary support to players and casino staff, but also found a number of inefficiencies and areas for improvement specific to the current co-management delivery model between BCLC and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB).
BCLC’s GameSense program is a cornerstone of its player health strategy to increase safer gambling practices and decrease gambling-related harms. Research shows that on-site advisors are a valuable resource in the promotion of responsible gambling and the prevention and mitigation of gambling-related harms.
In B.C., a recent study on BCLC’s Voluntary Self Exclusion program found that GSAs make people feel comfortable during the enrolment process. In addition, when a GSA was present during program enrolment, there was a significantly increased likelihood that counselling was recommended.
Consolidating responsibility for the GSA program under BCLC will enable a more efficient approach to GSA oversight, programming, communication, scheduling, and consistency of training. It offers GSAs the opportunity to have greater input into how BCLC can best meet the information and support needs of customers, and strive for continual improvement in meeting these needs. It also enables GPEB to redirect over $1 million each year into expanded outreach and enhanced problem gambling treatment programs across the province.
Following Ministerial approval, the GSAs will transition to BCLC employee positions beginning April 1, 2018. Previously, GSAs were on contract with the Province’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) and managed on a day-to day basis by BCLC. BCLC will absorb the costs to add staff and expand the GSA program province-wide into all B.C. gambling and entertainment facilities. The transfer of the GSA program will take a phased approach, spanning approximately 30 months.
Player health is a key strategic priority for BCLC. GSAs, along with the overarching GameSense program, play a critical role in enabling players to make informed decisions about gambling by helping to provide the information and support they need, when they need it. GameSense is the cornerstone for engaging and informing players, while removing stigma that may be associated with accessing responsible and problem gambling resources.
GameSense Quick Facts
- Launched in 2009, GameSense is BCLC’s responsible gambling program, that encourages players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce risk of developing gambling disorders, and connects them to resources if they or someone they know needs helps.
- GameSense Advisors in British Columbia casinos have approximately 4,500 meaningful conversations each month about responsible and problem gambling with people across the province.In B.C., GameSense Advisors staff GameSense Information Centres in all casinos, as well as self-serve kiosks in community gaming centres.
- GameSense information on responsible play is available in several languages at gambling facilities as well as on the GameSense website: www.gamesense.com
- BCLC has licensed GameSense to MGM Resorts International as well as six gaming jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S.: Alberta Gaming and Liquor, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, SaskGaming, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
- GameSense has been recognized with awards from industry organizations including the World Lottery Association, National Council on Problem Gambling the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors and North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.
For more information about GameSense programming, please visit this link.