April 30, 2021 - 2020 B.C. Online Problem Gambling Prevalence Study 

The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) have released a 2020 BC Online Problem Gambling Prevalence Study and a follow-up study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on online problem gambling. These reports, commissioned by GPEB and BCLC, studied online problem gambling among adults in British Columbia.

Government and BCLC are committed to ensuring that gambling activities and products are offered in a socially responsible way and welcomes research to better deliver evidence-based responsible and problem gambling programs.

The 2020 B.C. Online Problem Gambling Prevalence Study is among the first in the world to explore participation and characteristics of online gambling and problem gambling. This study is unique as it sheds new light on online problem gambling, versus problem gambling overall. It is important to note that the last report released on problem gambling prevalence in 2014 looked at gambling overall – the methodologies between the 2020 and 2014 studies differ, meaning the results aren’t directly comparable.

The new study outlines seven recommendations to BCLC and GPEB to prevent online problem gambling and help those affected. They include public awareness, education and promotion of responsible and problem gambling supports and treatment, increased use of player data to identify high-risk players, additional tools and incentives to use tools that support healthy play online, and more in-depth research among those at highest risk for problem gambling.

GPEB and BCLC have accepted the recommendations provided and have developed various strategies in collaboration to address them. The attached action plan includes both ongoing work and new initiatives.

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