Voluntary Self-Exclusion

The Voluntary Self-Exclusion program is designed to help individuals who experience difficulties associated with gambling.

About the program

It’s important to take breaks when gambling. It’s a way to pause and regain perspective. However, when it becomes harder to fit in breaks and gambling just doesn’t seem fun anymore, BCLC’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) program can be the first step towards getting help and ultimately controlling a person’s gambling by voluntarily excluding themself for a period of time.

man looking at Gamesense website on his laptop

VSE options

We understand that each person’s needs and circumstances are different which is why the VSE program offers three options. When enrolling in the program, individuals can choose to exclude for one, two, or all three of the following:

  1. All gambling facilities with slot machines including casinos, community gaming centres and the slot floor of race tracks;
  2. All commercial bingo halls, community gaming centres and any gambling facility offering bingo; and
  3. All online gambling on PlayNow.com.

Individuals can also decide how long they wish to be excluded from gambling facilities or PlayNow.com:

  • Six months
  • One year
  • Two years
  • Three years

Individuals that have chosen to self-exclude from a gambling facility with slot machines or a commercial bingo hall will not be eligible for a PlayNow.com account. If an account exists, it will be suspended. Self-exclusion begins as soon as a person enrolls and it cannot be cancelled or changed until the term expires.

Learn more about the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program.

Helping people honour their commitment

We know the decision to voluntarily self-exclude from gambling isn’t easy, but for some it’s a necessary starting point towards getting help. Enrolling in the program is a personal commitment and we strive to do our part to help individuals honour their commitment with additional resources and support, including:

  • Sharing information and photos of self-excluded individuals amongst security and surveillance staff at gambling facilities across British Columbia;
  • Investing in technologies that help supplement the efforts of surveillance teams to identify self-excluded individuals in order to help prevent them from entering gambling facilities;
  • Working with researchers to continually enhance the program in order to best support our players and;
  • Making anyone who’s self-excluded ineligible for jackpots. This is intended as a deterrent and the funds withheld are then used for responsible and player health research projects.

Voluntary Self-Exclusion program longitudinal study

VSE is an important component of BCLC’s Player Health Ambition. We work with researchers to continually enhance the program in order to best support our players.

As part of that commitment, BCLC has re-engaged researchers at the University of the Fraser Valley to conduct a comprehensive four-year evaluation of the VSE program from the perspective of the participant. Through a series of interviews, the study will assess the level of satisfaction, uptake of counselling treatment, and the program’s overall effectiveness.

The research components of the project will culminate in a report with comprehensive recommendations with an anticipated completion date of 2023. Review the results of the most recent study, BCLC’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program from the Perspectives and Experiences of Program Participants.

BC Gambling Support Line

The BC Gambling Support Line is open 24/7 for confidential and free problem gambling support. Funded and administered by the Province of B.C., the helpline offers information, referrals and crisis counselling related to gambling.