How Will British Columbia's Government ID Checks for Self-Exclusion Work?

How Will British Columbia's Government ID Checks for Self-Exclusion Work?

A recent initiative by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) will change the experience of visiting a casino for British Columbia (BC) residents. This initiative makes it compulsory for individuals visiting a casino to show government ID on arrival.

Security personnel will then scan the ID and check if the person has self-excluded using the BCLC Game Break Program. The aim of the initiative is to support individuals who may be experiencing problems controlling their gambling activity. Although details are not 100 percent clear, the new scheme will be in place soon. Thus, so it’s a good time to take a closer look at what it entails, starting with why such a scheme is necessary.

Why is the new ID check initiative necessary?

The BCLC aims to protect people from potentially damaging gambling behavior. Its Game Break program allows people to register and self-exclude if their gambling is a problem. Information about enrolling for the scheme is on the BCLC’s Game Sense page. This also contains useful advice for individuals experiencing issues because of their gambling.

The new initiative is due to roll out over the summer months, although final dates and details are yet to release. When you consider the fact that 10,818 people have enrolled or re-enrolled with Game Break in the last year, you can see that there is a need to put protective measures in place. This help will make it easier for people to manage their finances and repair damage to their credit rating due to gambling in excess.

Look at the figures in the table below for more insight into the number of people enrolling in the Game Break program and for details of how many self-exclusion infractions were reported. The new initiative should reduce the number of infractions.

Financial Year 2012/22 April-June 2021 July – September 2021 October – December 2021 January – March 2022
Number, or enrolments/renewals 1,303 2,520 2,062 2,873
Number of new enrolments 639 844 840 1,201
Reported self-exclusion infractions 0 1,044 747 1,120

How does this system compare with online casinos?

The system of showing ID when entering a casino in British Columbia is similar to online casinos in Ontario, which have 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) processes in place. These processes mean that players must provide a photo ID and proof of address after they register at an online casino.

Online casinos that legally operate in Ontario and the wider British Columbia area are licensed, so they operate in a fair way regarding the well-being of customers. These online operators also have their own self-exclusion programs that people can enroll with.

The site also operates in British Columbia. This is the lottery, casino, and sportsbook site of the BCLC, and it’s part of the Game Break Program.

What will happen when the new system is in place?

The finer details of the new system have yet to be revealed, but the basic information is clear. When an individual enters a casino, they will have to show a government-issued ID to the security personnel. The security personnel will then scan the documents and check if the person is enrolled in the Game Break self-exclusion program. None of this personal data will be stored. The aim is simply to prevent self-exclusion infractions.

Game Break participants are keen for the scheme to start as they say it will help them stick with the self-exclusion program. Thus, they believe it will help them overcome their issues with gambling.

It’s worth mentioning that people should already carry ID with them when visiting a casino as they may need to verify their age or confirm their ID if they win a large prize. However, this new scheme specifically aims to help individuals who have self-excluded with the Game Break program.

What ID will be accepted under the new scheme?

When the new scheme is introduced, residents of British Columbia will be able to use a BC Identity Card as an official ID. This card is useful in many ways. It will also be useable to access health services and other online services. Not to mention work as government ID when visiting a casino.

The new scheme is due to be introduced in the coming weeks. Thus, more information is expected imminently. When the scheme begins, it will apply to casinos and gambling centers. Everyone visiting these premises will be asked for government ID.

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