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Province trying to curb gambling addiction in young adults

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The provincial government is zeroing in on young adults in an attempt to curb problem gambling, as they seem to be at a higher risk of becoming gaming addicts.

While the problem has decreased overall, Finance Minister Mike de Jong says that’s not the case with those between the ages of 18 and 24. Many in that age group seem to be using online gaming systems like Playnow.com.

“Ensuring that there’s messaging and safeguards built in to that system to provide them with enhanced protection and information about the games they’re playing,” he explains.

He says officers have also been visiting high schools to talk to students about the dangers of sites like Playnow.com if they’re not responsible.

Overall 34,000 fewer people experienced issues with gambling last year compared with seven years earlier.

The province makes 21 commitments to help curb gambling addiction including:

* Improving the delivery of problem gambling prevention programs for youth with an increased focus on problem solving, critical thinking and building resilience.
* Adding customized responsible gambling messaging on Playnow.com, BC Lottery Corporation‘s on-line gaming portal.
* Expanding the successful GameSense Advisor model to community gaming centres, in addition to what is already in place in casinos.
* Increasing co-operation between the ministries of Finance and Health to improve continuity of care for clients who face multiple, related problems such as gambling, substance abuse and mental-health issues.
* Investing in research to understand problem gambling among online players and to determine the impact of reducing high-risk features on electronic gaming machines.
* Government and BCLC will monitor the progress and achievements of the Centre for Gambling Research at the University of British Columbia. Funding of $2 million over five years has been provided for the centre.