BCLC puts player health first with new program

May 17, 2023 11:40 AM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
May 17, 2023 11:40 AM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports

Those people enrolled in the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s Game Break self-exclusion program will have a tougher time getting into B.C. casinos this summer.

BCLC has announced they’re enhancing identification requirements for individuals enrolled in the program, which provides the opportunity to voluntarily and confidentially take a break from brick-and-mortar gambling facilities and/or online gambling (which in B.C. is the PlayNow.com website).

Those who enroll in Game Break are excluding themselves. The objective is for people to feel more in control by taking extended breaks from gambling if they feel it’s causing too much stress on finances or relationships or people simply want to change their gambling habits.

The length of the break can be for six months or one, two, or three years. Once the individual enrolls in Game Break, the self-exclusion begins immediately for the time period selected and cannot be changed. Their PlayNow account is closed and the individual longer receives marketing materials from BCLC or its gambling operators. If the individual is an Encore Rewards member, the rewards account is deactivated and any points are eligible to be redeemed for cash.

British Columbia residents also have access to prevention, treatment, and support services through Gambling Support B.C.

The enhancements will require every individual to present government-issued photo identification to get into the casino. Security staff will scan the ID to check for individuals on databases restricting them from entering facilities and for individuals who enrolled in Game Break.

A news release statement said personal information for those permitted to enter the casino will not be stored.

BCLC conducted “comprehensive” third-party reviews of their self-exclusion program, which revealed that participants believed that identification checks at gambling facilities provide the level of support they feel they need, by not being able to gain entry into a casino.

BCLC said an official implementation date for this new program will be announced in the coming weeks.