BCLC Achieves Level 4 Certification Again from WLA

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation prides itself on operating its games with integrity and transparency while keeping players front and center. Responsible gambling is and has long been a high priority for the BCLC.

This week, the World Lottery Association issued a Level 4 certification to BCLC for the fourth consecutive time. The acknowledgement recognized the lottery regulator’s responsible gambling efforts with the highest level of certification.

WLA IAP Level 4

The World Lottery Association (WLA) is one of the most recognized global authorities overseeing lottery operations. The member-based organization helps advance the interests of individual lottery regulators and operators. And among its values and goals, the WLA emphases responsibility, integrity, and professionalism at its core.

One of the responsibilities of the WLA is to urge responsible gambling measures and push for continual improvements in that area of lottery businesses. The WLA’s Independent Assessment Panel monitors its members for responsible gambling efforts.

There are four levels:

  • Level 1: Commitment, required by all WLA members to remain a part of the organization.
  • Level 2: Self-Assessment and Gap Analysis, a choice by members to examine responsible gambling programs and potential ways to improve.
  • Level 3: Planning and Implementation, the development of a plan, timetable, and budget to implement specific new or improved programs.
  • Level 4: Continuous improvement, working specific programs into day-to-day operations and continuously improving in 10 elements (research, employee program, retailer program, game design, remote gaming channels, advertising and marketing communications, player education, treatment referral, stakeholder engagement, and reports and measurements.

Members submit their own organizations for certification and must provide ample documentation as evidence. The WLA accepts submissions twice yearly, and the Independent Assessment Panel (IAP) reviews them.

Lottery organizations not only want the certification in recognition of accomplishments, they also submit application to receive feedback from the IAP on their performances and suggestions for future improvements.

Level 4 Achieved…Again

Canadian lottery corporations are known for their commitments to responsible gambling. So, it is no surprise to see five of them listed as certified Level 4 operators:

This is the fourth such certification in a row for BCLC. The latest iteration included a note from the IAP about the BCLC’s Player Education program, commenting that it is “by far meeting the highest standards in the field.”

Several lotteries in the United States operate under Level 4 certifications as well, including the California State Lottery and New York State Gaming Commission. Other countries included in that category also hail from Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.

BCLC Programs

The IAP commented on the responsible gambling features on the BCLC’s online gambling website called PlayNow.com. The most recent addition to features on that site includes the “Personalize Your Page” section, which includes education about budgeting for gambling, setting time limits, and taking breaks. It also shows players how exactly to set limits on PlayNow.

This is all a part of the larger GameSense program that many lottery operators now use. It provides game rules and odds, ways to play smarter and better, and how and where to obtain support.

The BCLC says it aims higher and wants to have the healthiest players in the world via comprehensive, evidence-based programs. The four primary commitments of the program are:

  • Informed Decisions
  • Positive Play
  • Referral and Support
  • Safer Products and Environments

Peter ter Weeme, BCLC Chief Social Purpose Officer and VP of Player Experience, reiterated that the organization is committed to improving. “Obtaining Level 4 certification is an important endorsement of our strategy as we work towards our goal that no one should be harmed by gambling offered by BCLC.”

Speaking of Improvements

The WLA report awarding the BCLC its most recent Level 4 certification contained the aforementioned praise but also some criticisms and suggestions.

The main issue from the IAP was that the BCLC’s submission for certification was too long. Evidently, the lottery organization sent 6,311 pages, of which 250 were specific to responsible gambling. The IAP asked that future submissions be limited to 100-120 pages.

In the next submission, the IAP will want to know more about responses of NASPL members to their free use of the GameSense program. They want to know how many people use it and how they did so.

The IAP will also want to see the new integrated annual report that highlights “progress in implementing our corporate strategy and social purpose” and sustainability and social responsibility efforts. The IAP will want a summary and information about future plans.

Other desires for the next submission include data on the use of the treatment referral service, as well as any data or impact reports regarding new marketing and advertising initiatives.

Finally, the IAP asked the BCLC to explain how it copes with game designs that don’t meet the standards set or the goals in place.

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen

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