|In Canada, the province of British Columbia is hiring nine ‘responsible gambling information officers’ in order to educate casino staff and patrons about problem gambling.|
According to a story from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the jobs are part of a long-term plan from the provincial Government to have staffers in every casino. Derek Sturko, Assistant Deputy Minister of Gaming Policy for British Columbia, stated that early intervention by these representatives may prevent people from becoming problem gamblers, even though a decade of research has indicated that there is no evidence of an increase in the western province.
“We did a pilot programme in 2005 at two Lower Mainland casinos and discovered that worked quite well and this is part of our plan to grow that out to every casino gaming facility,' said Sturko.
However, opponents of the plan from the ruling centre-left Liberal political party alledge that the creation of the posts indicates that a problem does exist.
'It is a stark admission by this Government that Liberal policies are directly creating gambling addicts in this province,' said Harry Lali, gaming policy critic for the left-leaning New Democratic Party.
'It is the massive expansion of gambling by Gordon Campbell and the Liberals that is creating this problem,'
Since the Liberal party came to power in British Columbia in 2001, revenues from casinos has doubled from $552 million to nearly $1.1 billion. Private companies operate the province’s 20 casinos for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, which manages all legal gambling in the province on behalf of the Government.