- »Best Four Benefits of GameSense Advisors in BC
Best Four Benefits of GameSense Advisors in BC
For years, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has made responsible gambling a center point of its overall approach to the industry. It has been recognized worldwide for its forward-thinking programs like GameSense.
Earlier this month, BCLC completed a significant expansion phase of its GameSense program. GameSense Advisor is now available in every casino and gaming center in British Columbia.
What is GameSense?
Of all of the responsible gambling tools offered by BCLC, GameSense is the most visible and far-reaching of all of its programs.
The goal of GameSense is to serve as a cornerstone to engage with and inform gamblers. And by making resources and information so accessible, they hope to remove some of the stigma typically associated with asking questions about problem gambling and seeking help.
One of the ways GameSense serves the communities in BC is to explain how games work, how casinos and gambling machines are set up to be fair but profitable. It shows gamblers how to differentiate between gambling for fun versus addiction, and it stresses balance and smart choices in everyone’s gambling activities.
Throughout 2018, BCLC saw that GameSense advisors located in various casinos and gambling establishments in the area were busier. In fact, the year saw approximately 55,000 interactions between advisors and players.
The significance of that number was that it was an increase of about 40,000 from the prior year.
That prompted BCLC staff to decide to expand the program. The new goal was to set up fully-operational BCLC GameSense Advisor offices at every casino and gambling center in the province. It was a big task but worth the effort.
BCLC set up one of the offices at Chances Signal Point in Williams Lake in August. The information center served as an office for Troy Nicholson, the advisor for that location, but more so as a welcoming space for all visitors, whether players or friends and family of players.
By the beginning of November, BCLC achieved its goal of establishing GameSense presences in 35 communities across British Columbia.
Attorney General David Eby was pleased with the outcome of the significant investments in the GameSense program. “This expansion means people throughout BC can now seek support and share their questions and concerns about gambling with GameSense advisors in their local gaming facilities,” he said. “These conversations can be life changing, and I hope British Columbians will take advantage of this importance service available to them.”
BCLC CEO Greg Moore expressed gratitude for the progress of the program. “The GameSense Advisor program is a key component of our overall strategy to encourage healthy play and make our products, environments, and services safer for players.”
Let’s take a look at some of the primary benefits of the program.
GameSense Advisor offices are safe spaces for anyone in a casino or gambling environment.
Players are obviously welcome to speak with advisors, but friends and family members are also free to utilize the resources and ask questions of the advisors. The program is as much for those who are affected by problem gamblers as the players themselves.
The offices are more than just a place for questions and answers, though. Players at any gaming center may come into the advisor’s space to get away from the gambling floor. It is a safe space for gamblers who need a break or require a quiet place to think.
A person who walks into a GameSense Advisor office is obviously choosing to show his or her face, but they need not provide any further information. There is no sign-up sheet or requirement to provide identification or contact information.
The primary goal of the advisor is to provide help, even if done without the player providing a name.
Advisors are not just available to discuss gambling problems or help people with addictions. One of the goals of GameSense is to inform players so that they are more likely to view gambling as entertainment than as a source of income or wealth.
GameSense advisors are equipped with information – even videos and simple handouts – that explain how gambling works. They answer questions that give players a better understanding of their odds and how the games actually operate.
Advisors in GameSense offices are not preachers or parents. They will not force information on anyone. However, they do possess a lot of knowledge about gambling and can offer helpful advice if asked.
For example, BCLC just produced a list of ways that gamblers can find balance through the holidays, despite the additional time that many have to spend at the tables or machines.
- Balance gambling with other activities, like movies or gatherings with friends.
- Take a friend to gamble to keep it social and fun.
- Set a time limit on gambling with a watch or smartphone alarm.
- Abide by a budget that allows a certain amount of money for gambling entertainment.
- Take a break from gambling to enjoy many holiday activities.