News release

VLT Retailers Receive Gaming Training

A new training initiative, the VLT Retailer Responsible Gaming Program, will enable more than 2,000 Nova Scotia VLT retailers and their staff to increase awareness of problem gambling issues and develop responsible gaming practices and policies for their establishments by mid-2000.

The responsible gaming program was developed in partnership by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia's Human Resource Council, the Nova Scotia Department of Health Addiction Services, and the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. The partners, each contributing different resources, came together with a commitment to find a solution to problem gambling issues.

"Through education and training the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia seeks to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of the tourism industry, including VLT retailers and their staff, through a commitment to professional development," said Judith Cabrita, managing director of the industry association. "The responsible gaming program promotes this goal by providing retailers with responsible business practices to ensure successful retail environments."

"As part of our commitment to responsible gaming, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. recognizes the importance of education and training VLT retailers about responsible gaming practices to help ensure the long-term viability of the program, said Dara Gordon, vice-chair of the gaming corporation.

"The Nova Scotia Department of Health provides prevention and treatment services and conducts research on problem gambling," said Brian Wilbur, director of drug dependency in the Department of Health. "The responsible gaming program fits with our mandate by increasing the level of assistance available to problem gamblers."

More specifically, the program covers topics such as the causes of problem gambling, possible signs of problem gambling, the resources available to problem gamblers, good business strategies and developing a responsible gaming policy. Strategies that might be put in place include displaying problem gambling brochures and literature, increasing interaction and communication between staff and players by implementing creative-selling techniques and refraining from providing cash advances.

As a good business practice it is expected that VLT retailers will support and participate in the program. VLT retailers are not required to pay a fee to attend the training sessions, however, they will make a contribution to the program through their establishment's participation. The program is structured into two training sessions -- one five-hour session for owners/operators and a three-hour session for staff. Sessions are scheduled to start in late October 1999.

-30-

Contact:

Julia Watt
Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. 902-424-3420 E-mail:
Krista Burrill
Department of Health 902-424-3399 E-mail: burrilkr
Darlene Grant Fiander
Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia 902-423-4480

kjd October 29, 1999