30th of June 2009 Author: Glo Wood
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation in Vancouver, Canada has launched a new initiative aimed at promoting responsible gambling, branded "Game Sense". The program will include extensive use of media and public service television advertisements.
"These ads represent the first ever responsible gambling TV messages in B.C.," BCLC president Michael Graydon said at a news conference.
GameSense will also promote provincially funded resources such as the problem gambling line and free counselling services available. The initiative is supported by the Responsible Gambling Council, a non-profit organization specialising in prevention strategies since 1983.
Last year the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. in Toronto launched a two-year pilot project in Windsor and Niagara Falls casinos to establish on-site Responsible Gaming Resources Centres, operated by the Responsible Gambling Council.
Since then the program has expanded to 27 gaming locations across Ontario. About $100 million a year is spent in Canada on responsible gaming awareness, education, treatment and research.
Graydon said 4.6 percent of the adult population in B.C. are problem gamblers and 8.7 percent are at risk players.
He said Game Sense kiosks and staffed booths will be at each of the 15 land casinos in B.C. and another 16 "community gaming centres," which include bingo halls.
The BCLC makes $2.6 billion from gaming in B.C. and another $1.1 billion is allocated to the province's charities.
Computers at Game Sense kiosks will provide gamblers with information about the odds of winning and how games are played.
The initiative has its own website at GameSense.ca.
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