Using your sense when gambling in B.C.
The game is simple, Alex Andreucci explains, holding out the cloth bag.
Inside are 20 marbles.
While most are brown, a single white orb lurks somewhere in the bag.
Pull it out and you win.
“Go ahead,” she says.
KTW pulls a brown one.
While the game can be played multiple times, there is one more rule — the marble you’ve already pulled has to go back in the bag before you can pick another.
The odds of pulling the white marble never get better.
While the odds are lower and there aren’t any flashing lights, the game works on the same principal as a slot machine.
It’s one of the tools Andreucci — who oversees the B.C. Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) GameSense program in the region — and others will use to dispel a number of gambling myths during Kamloops’ first Responsible Gambling Week, which runs through Saturday, Jan. 12.
“It’s a reload feature,” she explains once the marble is dropped back in the bag.
“One of the myths we know exists on the gaming floor is people think if they play a slot machine for an extended period of time, it’s due for a win or it might be ready to pay or that the odds get better.”
That’s not the case, Andreucci says.
At tables, the cards are constantly shuffled, while slot machines and roulette wheels don’t have memory of previous spins and results.
“It’s always random,” she says.
While the GameSense program runs in casinos and gambling centres across the province, Responsible Gambling Week takes the conversation and myth-busting to a wider audience.
The week first launched in Vernon in 2012 and expanded to include Kamloops, Langley, Prince George and Greater Victoria this year.
“I think what happened in Vernon is people are more aware of the situation and more aware of the resources that are available if they or a family member have a challenge,” says Michael Graydon, BCLC’s CEO.
Graydon says research conducted for BCLC shows about five per cent of B.C. gamblers will struggle with gambling addiction, a number in line with most other jurisdictions in Canada.
However, he says, Responsible Gambling Week can also remind the other 95 per cent of casino patrons to “keep it in perspective” and let them know there are resources available if issues arise.
“It’s about getting that information out,” he says.
“You can advertise and you can tell people, but there’s so much going on in our communities.
“When you take a week like this and you engage the community, the awareness levels grow quite significantly.”
An interactive myth-busting kiosk is at Aberdeen Mall today (Jan. 10) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On Friday, Jan. 11, BCLC, the City of Kamloops and the British Columbia Responsible and Problem Gambling Program will host an open house at Desert Gardens, 540 Seymour St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring community supports for problem gamblers.