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Parent in British Columbia Is Not Happy with the Gambling Education Campaign

A Vancouver parent recently chided a B.C. gambling education organization for its current educational advertising, calling it inappropriate. The parent was upset that the local organization was handing out cartoon story books, yo-yos, and inflatable toy cubes, and even called the organization a gambling lobby.

However, local officials acknowledged that the organization was Gambling Support BC (GSBC) and its prevention specialists, not a gambling advocacy group. The purpose of the organization is to educate children and parents on topics such as the dangers of gambling, decision-making and communication through the distribution of educational toys and literature.

Inappropriate Content

A mother, who asked to remain anonymous, claims the gang approached her child and babysitter at Garden Park in East Vancouver on March 27, 2022. She said the pamphlet they were handed depicted a cartoon bear who stole a phone and then gambled day and night, threatening close friends who tried to intervene and help.

According to her, this behavior is not shown as excessive in the tale because the bear is not punished for his actions and behavior, other than having to return the phone. In addition, the angry resident stated that the bouncing dice were intended to imitate gambling to get children’s attention, and that she saw no point in it.

The Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General issued a statement in response to her words, stating that GSBC prevention facilities provide a variety of services. All demographic groups will benefit from educational and outreach sessions, health promotion and community involvement. Contractors, the government said, give organized presentations in schools or in public, which may include broadcasts of other age-approved and appropriate programs.

GSBC is partnering with the Canadian Institute on Substance Use and Research to create its online Choices and Chances website, which was released in 2018. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General have stated that the site is neutral on gambling, meaning it is neither for nor against gambling.

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Kids Shouldn’t Play Scratch Cards

The B.C. Lottery Corporation, concerned for the safety of its residents, oversees regulated gaming and lottery activities in British Columbia. For example, before Christmas 2021, this crown agency ran an awareness campaign called #GiftSmart. The campaign advised residents not to give scratch tickets as holiday gifts because of the risk of developing gaming addiction if children start playing the lottery at an early age.

GameSense

GameSense

The Crown Agency also has a special player safety program known as GameSense, which is available online and at all retail lottery stores, casinos and gaming centers in British Columbia. When BCLC offices and casinos closed in March 2020, the agency set up a special phone line for players who have gambling problems and need help or just information about gaming odds, among other things.