Organizations preach responsible gambling
Gambling is a fun, recreational pursuit for most people. But for some, it can consume their lives.
That’s why organizations are banding together for the third annual Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Vernon until Saturday in Vernon.
“We’re trying to take this health initiative out into the community,” said Greg Walker, B.C. Lottery Corporation public affairs director.
“This week is about letting people know help is available.”
Awareness week involves BCLC, the local Social Planning Council, Lake City Casinos, the City of Vernon and the B.C. Responsible Gambling and Problem Gambling Program.
“People choose to gamble but no one chooses to become addicted to gambling,” said David Horricks, a director with the B.C. Responsible Gambling and Problem Gambling Program.
Assistance can come in a variety of forms, including counselling and staff monitoring patron’s activities at casinos, such as the one in Vernon.
“It can be as simple as tapping someone on the shoulder and saying, ‘It looks like you need a break,’” said Horricks.
Research is also a critical component of addressing gambling addiction.
“We have to know what we don’t know so we can make it (program) better,” said Horricks.
As part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, there will be a free public skate at Kal Tire Place from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. today. Participants can learn about responsible gambling programs and problem gambling resources available in Vernon.
BCLC’s Myth-Busting Kiosk will also be at the First Nations Employment Centre Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Save-On Foods Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., the Vernon library Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., Galaxy Cinemas Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., the Schubert Centre Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. and the Village Green Centre Saturday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.
At the kiosk, you can learn the myths and facts of gambling through interactive games.
Horricks hopes local residents will join the campaign initiated by the various organizations.
“Everyone is interested in having some dialogue (about gambling addiction). We have to talk about it,” he said.