Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia


Gambling Awareness

In 1998, Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS-formerly the Nova Scotia Gaming Foundation) was formed as a not-for-profit, arms-length government organization for the purpose of receiving and distributing funds that would support communities to reduce the harmful effects of gambling. These funds are generated from a percentage of VLT revenues, matched by the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation (NSPLCC).

Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS) is accountable to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

In March 2011, the Nova Scotia government released a five-year gaming strategy that recommended integrating GANS with the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. In anticipation of this integration, GANS's volunteer board of directors was dissolved and was replaced by the following staff from the Department of Health and Wellness:

Chair: Associate Deputy Minister Jeanine LaGasse
Members: Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang and Executive Director of Health Promotion, Mental Health and Addictions Kimberlee Barro

The following year, GANS' core functions were integrated into the Department of Health and Wellness

"Funding support from GANS provided Direction 180 with the opportunity to gain knowledge of the prevalence, risks, barriers and opportunities to generate better support among opioid dependent people in our community, who are at-risk or experiencing harm from their gambling. The commitment, expertise and insight of GANS staff helped us to achieve our project outcomes and improve our capacity to respond to gambling risks in our community."
Cindy MacIsaac, Executive Director, Direction 180

To date, there is about $5 million in unused GANS revenues, most of which are invested in securities. The department is committed to developing a plan to liquefy those revenues, and to invest them in ways that will protect Nova Scotians who are at risk for gambling harm.

All projects funded by GANS are in line with the mission, and guided by the Department of Health and Wellness's goals.

"We want to find the best ways to help Nova Scotians who are struggling with gambling related harms. To do that, we are funding community research and projects that are based on evidence, and will help us to improve health promotion and treatment efforts."
Tracey Barbrick, GANS Board Chair and Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Health and Wellness

Continuing the GANS Work: Community Grants

Now that GANS is part of the Department of Health and Wellness, we will continue to receive its revenues and use a percentage of them to issue grants to eligible groups or organizations with an interest in raising awareness about risks associated with gambling and reducing its harms in Nova Scotia.

How to apply for Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia Special One-Year Community Project Grants 2016-2017