Good luck charms, hot machines and lucky numbers are gambling myths, and chance-based games such as slot machines, baccarat, craps, roulette, keno, lottery, scratch tickets and bingo are based entirely on the unpredictability of the outcome.
That was the message that GameSense, a program developed by British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC), wants every punters to know and Alberta is the latest Canadian province to roll out the program, joining Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) said that GameSense will initially be available at 24 casinos and three horse racetracks that also offer gambling machines.
“The idea is to have players more engaged and encourage them to seek out information about responsible gambling, to steer away from any high-risk behaviours or potentially problem gambling behaviours,” said AGLC spokeswoman Tatjana Laskovic.
Laskovic also added that the program will eventually be expanded to other forms of gambling in Alberta, including lottery and video lottery terminals (VLT) and even online gambling once the Alberta government decides to proceed.
In B.C., every casino has a GameSense Information center staffed by GameSense advisors who are funded by the province’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. GameSense advisors discuss gambling odds, dispel common myths and share information on resources. They also support the enrollment process for BCLC’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion program, and referral to the province’s free problem gambling counselling services.
In 2014, GameSense Advisors interacted with an average of 4,500 players each month.
BCLC director of social responsibility Kahlil Philander called GameSense “a holistic program to reduce gambling-related harm, which reduced the number of problem gamblers in the province last year.”
In February, Massachusetts became the first jurisdiction outside Canada to implement the program starting with the Plainridge Park casino, with future plans to include the MGM and Wynn casinos.