The B.C. Lottery Corporation has partnered with the City of Langley to launch the community’s first-ever Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.
Offering resource kiosks and interactive games at several high profile locations as well as gambling experts are set to speak in Langley throughout the week.
“Langley residents have been strong advocates for services to support those who struggle with problem gaming,” said Langley MLA Mary Polak.
The City’s Social Planning Committee helped organize and deliver this week’s events and the province’s gaming policy and enforcement branch helped train local volunteers who will man the “gambling myth-busting” kiosks.
The highlight of the week will be a Responsible Gambling Awareness Expo taking place on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where a speaker’s panel will focus on educating parents about the prevalence of youth gambling and how to have a conversation with their children about gambling, as well as speaking to problem gambling in general.
Speakers begin at 10:30 a.m. and include a prevention specialist, problem gambling counsellor and GameSense experts. This takes place in Room 1030.
The week began at Kwantlen, where volunteers put up a myth-busting kiosk, offered games and give-aways to students.
On Tuesday, they were at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre and Langley Community Services Society.
They were also out at Save-on-Foods in Aldergrove and will be at the IGA in Walnut Grove on Thursday and Willowbrook Shopping Centre on Friday.
Five communities in B.C. will host responsible gambling weeks.
Langley City is home to Cascades Casino and Convention Centre. The Township has expressed interest in hosting a new gaming centre near the Langley Events Centre. Cloverdale is home to Fraser Downs gaming centre and horse racing.
Surrey council just turned down a large casino/convention centre proposed by Gateway Casinos in South Surrey.
Gambling is big money for the provincial government. The BC Lottery Corporation is commonly ranked in the top 10 for biggest companies in B.C., along with the likes of Telus, Jim Pattison Group and B.C. Hydro.
The revenue from the casinos that comes back into provincial coffers is in the tune of around $1 billion per year.
Those revenues go back into services like health care, education and back into charities and non-profit groups through community grants.