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British Columbia pledges more funds to gambling harm research

| By Robert Fletcher
The British Columbia government and BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) have committed an additional CA$1.4m (£818,902/€955,867/US$1.0m) to fund research into gambling-related harm in the Canadian province.
British Columbia gambling research

Funding will support work at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Centre for Gambling Research. The government and BCLC have funded research at the facility since it opened.

Established in 2014, the Centre for Gambling Research focuses on responsible and problem gambling. This includes research into understanding gambling behaviours and creating improved programmes and treatments to risks associated with problem gambling.

The latest commitment is the third consecutive five-year term of financial support from the British Columbia government and BCLC.

“As government continues to work toward its commitments of harm reduction and a public health approach to preventing problem gambling, we are grateful for the work the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC does,” Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor-general, said.

“Its research and findings are integral to the development of policies within government and the steps we take to protect British Columbians from the harms of problem gambling.”

BCLC president and CEO Pat Davis also praised the ongoing relationship with the specialist research facility.

“At BCLC, the well-being of our players is paramount and we’re always looking for opportunities to offer safer gambling experiences,” Davis said. “Knowledge that we gain from the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC helps us consider enhancements to the programmes and initiatives that promote player health at BCLC and beyond. 

“We’re pleased to continue providing support to the centre so its work can continue to guide the industry.”

Commitment to supporting players in British Columbia

BCLC has launched a series of scheme aimed at supporting players and protecting them from gambling harms.

Earlier this year, it announced a number of updates to its voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) programme. These were focused on reducing stigma and making the scheme more approachable for players.

The programme was renamed “Game Break” and now offers additional elements. These include an active reinstatement process for individuals who choose to return to play. While terms of enrolment for the scheme remained the same, players choosing to play again now need to complete an online course.

Meanwhile, BCLC partnered with Everi Holdings to support its anti-money laundering efforts.

Everi now provide its Everi Compliance anti-money laundering software to support BCLC’s gaming and online operations. This covers lottery, casino, bingo and online gaming activities.

Everi Compliance is currently deployed in more than 600 gaming properties across a range of markets.

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