Local governments hosting, or looking to host, a gambling facility in their community now have access to a comprehensive and easy-to-use information guide from the Province that provides valuable information about the public-health risks of gambling.
The guide, Hosting a Gambling Facility: A Local Government Information Package on the Public Health Risks of Gambling, will help local governments make informed decisions about whether to host or expand a gambling facility, as well as promote public safety in communities with existing facilities.
The package focuses on four key themes around the public-health risk of gambling, including problem-gambling prevalence, revenue generated from problem gamblers, high-risk games, and the availability of alcohol and the impact of alcohol on gambling. The guide highlights existing programs and strategies that minimize harm, as well as other steps that can mitigate health risks in communities.
“Addressing issues of mental health and addiction in B.C. communities is a top priority for our government, but we can only succeed through partnership with other levels of government,” said Attorney General David Eby. “Building on our government’s historic service increase for British Columbians grappling with gambling addiction, this information guide will help local governments consider both the benefits and risks of hosting gambling facilities, and encourage those local governments that move ahead to take steps to reduce harm.”
The information guide idea originated with advice from the provincial health officer that B.C. should take a public-health approach to gambling in the province. The Province’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) developed the guide with input from the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), the Ministry of Health and the Centre for Gambling Research at the University of British Columbia.
- In 2016-17, host local governments to B.C. gambling facilities received $96.8 million in accordance with the Host Financial Assistance Agreement between the Province of B.C. and each local government.
- The Government of B.C.’s Responsible and Problem Gambling Program (RPGP) promotes responsible gambling practices and minimizes harm to at-risk British Columbians through prevention, intervention and treatment services.
- The RPGP program connects people with resources that are free of charge, such as counselling and treatment services, and can help them make informed choices and support healthy behaviours.
- BCLC’s GameSense program is a cornerstone of its player-health strategy to promote informed decision-making and positive play, grounded in the principle that the more people know, the better equipped they are to make healthy decisions about gambling.
To read the information guide for local governments about hosting a gambling facility:
For information on the process of becoming a host local government for a gambling facility, please see the BCLC website:
More problem gambling information for municipalities is online: