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BCLC updated self-exclusion program aims to “reduce stigma”


The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced a number of updates to its voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) program in an effort to reduce stigma and make the scheme more approachable.

Renamed “Game Break”, the new-look program will feature additional elements including an active reinstatement process for individuals who choose to return to play, offering players better support who feel that returning to gambling is right for them.

The terms of enrolment for the scheme will remain the same, with players able to choose to enroll in Game Break for a six-month, one-year, two-year or three-year term.

Once a player has completed their term, individuals who choose to return to play need to complete an online course. “Game Plan” will help people decide if returning to gambling is right for them by providing an opportunity to self-reflect and set out goals before they return.

In addition, program participants can continue to choose to extend their Game Break term.

“We want players to gamble within their time and money limits, and we want them to feel empowered to take a break if it’s what they need,” BCLC director of player health Ryan McCarthy said. “Taking a break from something is often seen as a positive choice.

“We’ve designed the Game Break program to reduce barriers and destigmatize self-exclusion, while also including a reinstatement process to help participants better understand their own gambling behaviors if they wish to return to play.

“The changes to our self-exclusion program are another way that we’re working to help individuals make informed decisions about gambling and provide them with support and resources to help them practice positive play behaviors.”

Everi partnership

The update comes after the BCLC earlier this month announced a new partnership with gaming machine and financial trading services business Everi Holdings to support its anti-money laundering efforts.

Under the agreement, Everi will provide its Everi Compliance anti-money laundering software to support the BCLC’s gaming and online operations. This will cover the BCLC’s lottery, casino, bingo and online gaming activities.

The deal extends Everi’s relationship with the BCLC, with the provider also supplying the provincial organization with both land-based and online slot content throughout British Columbia.