BCLC Puts GameSense Advisor at Chances Signal Point

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) appoints a new GameSense advisor to Chances Signal Point in Williams Lake.

The appointment and designation of Chances Signal Point as a GameSense information center is a part of the BCLC’s expansion of its program to keep players better informed about gambling and make more resources available to address problem gambling.

Advisor Now in Place

Chances Signal Point is the latest casino to participate in the BCLC’s GameSense program. The new presence of an advisor and information center in Williams Lake will further expand the offerings of the GameSense program and provide assistance to people who may not be aware of its existence otherwise.

Troy Nicholson is the new GameSense advisor, and he now has an office at Chances Signal Point.

Nicholson commented, “I look forward to meeting the players here in Williams Lake, getting to know them, discussing odds, dispelling myths, explaining how slot machines work, or going over programs in place to support those who struggle with their gambling behavior.”

All of those things are services that Nicholson can provide on behalf of the BCLC and GameSense.

As Nicholson holds down the new Information Centre at Chances Signal Point, he will let customers know that it is a welcoming space for all players to visit. Those with questions about gambling are free to chat with Nicholson.

Moreover, the center is a place for players to go if they feel they need a break from gambling. They can use the space to be away from the gambling floor or chat with Nicholson or anyone in the office. Should they decide they want or need help for their gambling habits or behaviors, an advisor can provide that assistance and guidance.

GameSense Expansion

The goal of the BCLC is to expand its GameSense program to every gambling establishment in British Columbia by the fall of this year. That time is quickly approaching.

The original plan was to staff casinos with advisors, but BCLC staff decided to expand the program to include every facility that offers gambling in the area, including community gaming centers.

Throughout 2018, the BCLC reported that GameSense advisors counted approximately 55,000 interactions with players at BC casinos. That number was up from approximately 40,000 the year before.

With more advisors and information centers available in 2019, that number is likely to rise significantly.

Putting resources at the actual gambling facilities has been successful thus far. BCLC Director of Player Health, Dr. Jamie Wiebe, spoke of the efforts to offer more player support. “Research shows that on-site advisors are a valuable resource in the promotion of responsible play and reduction of gambling-related harms,” she said.

What is GameSense?

The overall goal of GameSense is to engage and inform players of all aspects of gambling. This includes removing any stigma that may be associated with seeking help or even simply taking an interest in responsible gambling. Greater accessibility to that help, even just with the offering of problem gambling resources, can let players know that all concerns can and should be addressed.

BCLC launched GameSense in 2009. This year marks its 10th year of existence.

Throughout its growth, it has appealed to other gambling and lottery regulators across North America. Thus, BCLC has licensed GameSense to the following:

  • Alberta Gaming and Liquor
  • Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries
  • SaskGaming
  • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority
  • Massachusetts Gaming
  • Connecticut Lottery
  • MGM Resorts International

GameSense information centers, via advisors at those locations, can do more than provide pamphlets and phone numbers. They offer tips on how to gamble responsibly and set limits. They also demonstrate slot machines work and explain the odds of other casino games.

In addition, information centers provide responsible gambling kiosks with computers on which people can find information on their own without having to tell another person – even an advisor – their concerns.

Start Early

One of the goals of GameSense is to teach kids about the potential pitfalls of gambling. This is done through broad swaths of advertising on television, in movie theaters, and on the internet.

Though gambling is restricted to people 19 years of age or older, many younger people are exposed to gambling. Whether an adult buys them a lottery ticket or kids play poker with friends, if they bet on a sporting event or wager on other activities, these are all forms of gambling.

A survey conducted by the BCLC even found that 43% of kids reported that they gambled within a year form the survey date.

That number and other research prompted GameSense to offer tools and resources for parents to instigate discussions about gambling early so they are more prepared to face an adult world that includes gambling in many forms.


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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