B.C. to require ID to enter casinos in bid to tackle problem gambling

Gamblers playing slot machines at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. Sharon Doucette/CP

Anyone visiting B.C.’s casinos will soon be required to show identification to enter — not just those young enough to possibly be underage.

The BC Lottery Corporation announced the change in policy Tuesday as another tool to tackle problem gambling.

Set for this summer, security staff will scan visitors’ government-issued identification and check it against a database of individuals restricted from entering gambling facilities.

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In addition to filtering out people restricted for legal reasons, the move will also support BCLC’s voluntary “Game Break” self-exclusion program.

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That program allows people to voluntarily “take a break from gambling for a chosen period of time,” the BCLC said in a media release.

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“The new requirements support BCLC’s ambition to have the healthiest players in the world through evidence-based player-health programs focused on positive outcomes,” the BCLC said.

“Comprehensive third-party reviews of BCLC’s self-exclusion program show that participants believe identification checks at gambling facilities will best support their choice by not being able to gain entry.”

The BCLC said there are currently about 14,000 people enrolled in the Game Break program.

As of 2014, the province estimates 3.3 per cent of British Columbians were moderate- or high-risk problem gamblers.

British Columbians will continue to have access to free prevention, treatment and support through Gambling Support BC.

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