Education and Awareness lead RG efforts at Retail and Destination
Social Responsibility is one of our core values at Atlantic Lottery. That’s why we have a robust Responsible Gaming (RG) strategy: to educate our players and to support them in making informed decisions. When players know the facts, they play for fun and entertainment.
Each area of Atlantic Lottery’s business has its own RG features in place to provide players with the tools make to make healthy choices around their play. While these features look different in various lines of business, every feature is rooted in awareness, action or education.
In the first installment of our three-part series on responsible gambling at Atlantic Lottery, we discussed the features in place for our online platform, alc.ca. Now, in the second installment of the series, we’re looking at the RG features used in our retail and destination lines of business.
Our retail line of business relates to the brick and mortar, physical locations where players can purchase Atlantic Lottery products, like Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49 and Scratch’N Win tickets. Independent retail partners like convenience stores and grocery chains, Atlantic Lottery retail desks at our Moncton and Halifax offices, or Lottery kiosks set up at festivals and events – these are all great examples of our retail business. The retail experience is unique in that it is dependent on interaction with retail employees. That’s why RG measures for retail are focused on education.
All retailers must complete mandatory Responsible Gambling Training as part of their retailer agreement in order to sell Atlantic Lottery products. The training covers a wide variety of topics, including how to request ID from those who appear to be 25 years of age or younger to ensure they never sell to minors and understanding the risks associated with youth gambling. If a retailer is non-compliant with these rules, they are subject to a progressive disciplinary approach, which could ultimately result in suspension or even removal of their lottery terminal.
As a reminder to players and retailers alike, PlayWise responsible gambling messaging is available at all retail locations, including brochures, terminal messaging, letters to retailers and messages delivered through Atlantic Lottery’s sales team.
Many retail locations have a ticket stand where players can access PlayWise materials, but you can always ask retail employees where to get these materials if you don’t see them on display.
Turning to our Destination line of business, this is where Atlantic Lottery offers an interactive, entertaining way to play games of chance and win small cash prizes through Video Lottery terminals (VLTs). VLTs can be found in licensed liquor establishments like restaurants and bars across Atlantic Canada.
Just as it is for retail partners who sell traditional lottery products, Responsible Gambling Training is a mandatory part of a retailer agreement for establishments that offer VLTs. They also must prohibit cheque-cashing services to players and are unable to grant players credit of any kind to play.
RG efforts for our Destination line of business also focus on awareness for our players, so VLTs themselves offer a number of features. Maximum bets, maximum wins and a maximum cash-in limits are all in place on every terminal. There is a clock displayed on every screen, so a player never loses track of time, and screen displays are always referred to in cash, not credits. A gambling support helpline is shown on every terminal and there are PlayWise materials available on site for anyone who wishes to access them.
There are also a number of practices in place that provide breaks in play, which are a recommended part of providing a responsible gaming environment. Regardless of the hours of operation of the retail partner, the VLTs only operate during limited hours during the day. There are pop-up play reminders at 30, 60 and 90 minutes of play. Once these reminders have all passed, a forced cash-out occurs if 150 minutes of play is reached.
As you can tell, we take responsible gambling very seriously. That’s why Atlantic Lottery achieved Level 4 Recertification under the World Lottery Association (WLA) Responsible Gaming Framework – the highest level available to a lottery under the framework, which the corporation has achieved and maintained for more than a decade.
This article is Part II in a three-part series focusing on Atlantic Lottery’s RG efforts. In Part III, we’ll be taking a closer look at the features and safety measures in place at our Red Shores Racetrack and Casino locations. So stay tuned and remember, PlayWise materials and other helpful resources are always available on alc.ca and at retail and destination locations for anyone who wishes to access them.
* Please note that the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation is responsible for RG efforts in the province of NS, with the exception of the RG Retailer Training. The remaining RG features above may not apply in NS.