Strengthening responsible gambling

British Columbia casinos to introduce government ID checks to enhance self-exclusion program

Reading time 1:22 min

In an effort to provide support to individuals who have enrolled in its self-exclusion program, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has announced that all visitors to B.C. casinos will soon be required to present government-issued identification upon entry. 

The initiative aims to enhance the effectiveness of the self-exclusion program and promote responsible gambling practices. The BCLC plans to roll out this measure during the summer, with additional details to be disclosed in the upcoming weeks, including the specific implementation date. 

Under the new system, security personnel at the casinos will scan the presented IDs, which will be automatically cross-checked against a list of individuals participating in the Game Break self-exclusion program. It is important to note that the system will store no personal information of those allowed entry.

The Crown corporation said that participants of the Game Break program believe that identification checks represent an effective method of enforcing their choice to refrain from entering casinos. This program, as outlined on the BCLC website, is designed to assist individuals facing challenges associated with gambling by enabling them to exclude themselves from gambling facilities and online platforms for a specified period.

While players may already be required to carry identification for age and identity verification purposes in some instances, such as when claiming jackpot prizes, this new requirement aims to target the self-exclusion program specifically. In addition to self-excluded players, the initiative will also target those who are banned or restricted from entering.

Government-issued ID will include any North American driver's licence; the BC Identity Card; any passport, including foreign ones; permanent resident card; Canadian identity card and Indian status card. The policy will only apply to casinos and gambling centres.

As of May 1, BCLC has had 10,818 Game Break enrolments and re-enrolments over the past year. Each fiscal quarter the corporation logged between 964 and 1,177 self-exclusion infractions.

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