Gambling awareness week aims to bust myths about gaming

Kahlil Philander - submitted photo
Kahlil Philander
— image credit: submitted photo

According to BC Lottery Corporation, the government body that oversees gambling,  the odds always favour the house, there is no such thing as luck, gamblers cannot ‘earn’ a win, and there are warning signs when gambling becomes a problem.

Whether you buy a lottery ticket, bet in a casino, or gamble online, 81 per cent of adult British Columbians gamble at least once a year.

This week is Responsible Gambling Awareness week (May 2-9) and BCLC, in co-operation with Cascades Casino, has set up gambling myth-busting kiosks throughout the community.

BCLC and the province’s gaming policy and enforcement branch have trained local volunteers who will staff gambling myth-busting kiosks at various locations throughout the week, including Walnut Grove Community Centre, Willowbrook Shopping Centre and the Langley Seniors Resource Centre.

Langley is one of five communities hosting Responsible Gambling Awareness events. The others are Richmond, Kamloops, Vernon, and Greater Victoria.

“These kind of events are so important because they can show people there is help out there for them, there are resources,” said Dr. Kahlil Philander, director of social responsibility for BCLC.

On each casino floor there is a GameSense kiosk with trained staff who can provide resources and information about problem gambling, said Philander. In 2014/15, they had 57,000 interactions with patrons in B.C.

Having worked in Las Vegas, Philander said B.C. has a wealth of resources surrounding responsible gambling.

The Problem Gambling Help Line (1-888-795-6111) offers problem gamblers free, confidential, multilingual help from trained professionals (11 languages, text services, hearing impaired) along with free problem gambling counselling services.

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