To help British Columbians make informed gambling choices, the government of B.C. has increased funding for responsible gambling, and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is funding a new research centre Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman announced today.
This year, the provincial government and BCLC are providing approximately $11 million for responsible gambling: $6 million for the provincial responsible gambling program, $3.6 million for BCLC's responsible gambling program and an initial $1 million for the Centre for Gambling Research.
As announced in Budget 2013, the provincial government is providing an additional $5 million over three years to its Responsible Gambling program, a 30 per cent increase annually. This increased funding will be used to maintain services such as clinical counselling and improve awareness campaigns.
Through BCLC, the government of B.C. is dedicating $2 million over five years for a new, independent Centre for Gambling Research at the University of British Columbia. Housed in the university's department of psychology, the centre will conduct innovative research on the social and behavioural aspects of gambling. This research will help inform the provincial responsible gambling program. The centre is expected to open this fall.
Both of these actions build on B.C.'s Responsible Gambling Strategy. Created in 2003, this strategy promotes responsible gambling and addresses problem gambling through public awareness and education, research and training, and treatment and prevention.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas -
"The vast majority of British Columbians gamble for entertainment but a small number struggle with problem gambling. Our government is very serious about its commitment to providing support and treatment services. We are proud to be leaders in responsible gambling practices, and today's actions strengthen that commitment."
- According to research, 4.6 per cent of British Columbians experience problems related to excessive gambling.
- The government of B.C.'s Responsible Gambling Program was created in 2003 and provides awareness and education, a 24-hour toll-free, multi-lingual helpline and free, no-waitlist counselling.
- BCLC is investing $3.6 million this year in its responsible gambling program. BCLC's GameSense program provides information for players, such as the odds of winning. It dispels myths and provides tips for playing responsibly.
- The government of B.C. also provides GameSense Advisors in every casino in B.C.
Responsible Gaming in B.C. Factsheet: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/02/responsible-gambling-in-bc.htm
B.C. Responsible and Problem Gambling Program: http://www.bcresponsiblegambling.ca/
BCLC's commitment to responsible gambling: http://corporate.bclc.com/
Energy, Mines and Natural Gas