A review of BCLC’s voluntary self-exclusion program: Client behaviours, experiences, and perceptions

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British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Executive Summary: The objectives of this study were to assess the experiences and perceptions of VSE program participants and to measure the effects of the program on their gambling. In addition, BCLC was interested in learning about the various informal and formal supports used by VSE clients during their exclusion and the effects of the VSE program on client’s quality of life. Another objective was to understand more about the factors that contribute to program violation attempts. In addition, there was interest in understanding at what point during the exclusion period do VSE clients experience reductions in problem gambling symptoms, if at all. Given these objectives, the current study offered VSE clients participation in several telephone interviews along with a weekly online survey. As with the prior studies conducted by these authors on BCLC’s VSE program, participants were introduced to the study during their enrollment into the land-based VSE program. Those who consented to participate in the study were contacted by members of the research team to schedule a telephone interview. Study participants were recruited between May 2019 and March 2020 at which point recruitment for the study concluded because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of formal gaming venues across British Columbia. During the recruitment period, 3,911 people enrolled or re-enrolled into the VSE program. In total, 6.6% of these clients (n = 262) consented to have their name forwarded to the research team, and 3.3% (n = 128) participated in the first interview.