OLG named Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program 2018

Ontario Lottery wins its second award for teaching players to gamble responsibly via PlaySmart.

OLG named Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program 2018Ontario’s provincial lottery and gaming authority, OLG, made history in November 2018, and no one even knew it until last week. Turns out, the regulatory body was recognized by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its superior efforts towards responsible gambling. But no announcement was made until Thursday, nearly four months later, confirming that Ontario had won the WLA’s Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program Award.

Receiving an international award of this magnitude is huge for the provincial regulator, earmarking the OLG’s consistently growing efforts to protect players, employees and community business partners from the potentially adverse impacts of gambling. But this isn’t the OLG’s first trophy. This is actually the second time the Crown Corporation’s PlaySmart responsibility program has been named best-in-the-business; a milestone no other regulatory body in the world has achieved.

Ontario Lottery Encouraging Players to Gamble Responsibly

The awards were announced at the WLA’s biennial World Lottery Summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 18-22, 2018. The very first WLA Responsible Gaming Awards ceremony was held in 2008, making this the sixth time international lottery operators have been eligible to win the honor. The OLG was bestowed with the title of Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program for the first time in 2014, and now again in 2018.

According to the award’s criteria, WLA “aims to recognise excellence in Responsible Gaming and reward the best overall program at level 4, showcasing best practices and innovations across all program elements.” That description sums up OLG’s PlaySmart program perfectly.

As the lottery regulator’s President and CEO Stephen Rigby describes it, “OLG’s Responsible Gambling program is driven by a simple vision: to provide a healthy and positive gambling experience for all players.”

Rigby takes the corporation’s role in harm prevention very seriously. “We have a responsibility to our customers, employees, as well as our business and community partners,” he said. Rigby believes the PlaySmart initiative accomplishes that goal by providing, “the most effective programming that promotes positive play and mitigates harmful gambling.”

PlaySmart Responsible Gambling Program

Ontario Lottery wins 2nd Award for Teaching Players to Gamble Responsibly

PlaySmart isn’t just a catchy piece of advice for Ontario gamblers. It’s a complete, multi-faceted program that offers information and interactive tools to increase knowledge and awareness of how to gamble responsibly. Those who recognize that they have a problem can sign up for a time-restrictive voluntary self-exclusion program that enforces preventative control.

Ontario is especially diligent in getting the word out. Players will find a PlaySmart Lounge located in every casino in Ontario. Links to the program are on every page of the OLG’s online gaming website, PlayOLG. Information pamphlets are available at every Ontario Lottery retailer in the province. PlaySmart billboards can be seen on major highways all across the province.

The program helps customers by teaching them everything from how gambling really works, to providing a logical series of judgment-free steps to recover from compulsive behavior. To top it all off, the responsible gambling program is always expanding and evolving to better serve the community – one of the reasons it was chosen for the award in the first place.

“We work closely with government and independent agencies to find newer, better ways to support people who are concerned about their gambling,” explains the OLG. The regulator does so by focusing “on key areas like employee training, player education, game design, advertising, treatment, and community involvement.”

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