Gambling Awareness Week

For the second straight year, BCLC has partnered with the City of Vernon, the Social Planning Council of North Okanagan and the North Okanagan Employment Enhancement Society to launch Responsible Gambling Awareness Week: an interactive, engaging and locally-based approach to raising awareness of responsible gambling, taking place January 12-19, 2013.

“During Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, I encourage Vernon residents to get involved, ask questions and learn more about what responsible gambling means,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas. “We want to make people aware of responsible gambling practices and provide information about support services when people believe they have a gambling problem or are concerned about someone they know.”

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is an initiative created by BCLC in collaboration with the Province to help promote responsible play and problem gambling support services available.

“The Province is dedicated to promoting the responsible use of gambling products and the promotion of prevention and treatment of problem gambling, so I am proud to be involved in this event,” said Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster. “The objective of this Awareness Week is to provide information and encourage discussion amongst players and the general public in order to foster healthy choices with regards to gaming entertainment.”

Vernon hosted the Province’s first-ever Responsible Gambling Awareness last year. Following this success, BCLC is sponsoring a total of five communities to host their own Responsible Gambling Awareness Week: Kamloops, Prince George, West Shore, Langley and Vernon.

“Last year we saw an overwhelming, positive response from the people of Vernon who engaged in the week’s events, and learned more about how games work, the odds of winning and how to set limits in order to keep gambling fun,” said Marsha Walden, BCLC Vice President of Strategy, Transformation and Social Responsibility. “We are committed to fostering an open dialogue around responsible gambling and are excited to expand Responsible Gambling Awareness Week into more communities across B.C. this year.”

Once again this year, the City of Vernon set up an Action Team with the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan and the North Okanagan Employment Enhancement Society to organize and deliver the week’s events. BCLC and the Province’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch helped train local volunteers who will staff a myth-busting kiosk at various venues throughout the week including the Village Green Mall, First Nations Employment Centre, Okanagan College and the Okanagan Regional Library.

“I am greatly encouraged that, once again, Vernon is actively engaging with the community about gambling, responsible play and where to go for help, if needed,” said City of Vernon Mayor Robert Sawatzky. “It has truly been a group effort to get this campaign off the ground, and I applaud our community organizers for their devotion to this important topic.”

A highlight of the week will be a Responsible Gambling Awareness Workshop, taking place on January 16, from 12:30pm - 3pm at the Best Western Vernon Lodge. For a list of all RGAW activities and for more information, visit www.responsiblegamblingweek.ca or follow the week’s events on Facebook (Responsible Gambling Week Vernon).

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