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Understanding the risks of gambling and what to do if you need help

Over the past month, we have seen two progressive jackpots claimed in Prince George where at least a million dollars was won.

But according to the BC Lottery Corporation, instances like those are the exception and not the rule as what’s supposed to be a form of entertainment can become an addiction if you chase your losses.

Happie Poonian is a Player Health Regional Team Lead who spoke with Vista Radio and explained some of the misconceptions people have when playing slot machines.

“The most common one is usually the misconception where people playing a slot machine believe if they keep playing long enough will get a win or think they are due for a win.”

“The way slot machines work is based on randomness and they are designed to serve payouts randomly with the odds always being on the side of the house or casino.”

Pooinan believes a person’s knowledge of a certain game can be helpful but that still doesn’t guarantee a profit at the end of the day.

“In certain table games such as blackjack, skill and knowledge can help give you better odds to win, however, the advantage is always going to be built into the game for the house or casino.”

So what’s the best way to approach gambling?

“The best thing to do for anyone who chooses to gamble is to set limits and that’s both time and money, the idea you want to get in your head is how much can you afford to lose or the other way to look at it is how much do you want to spend on your entertainment.”

If gambling loses it’s luster and isn’t fun anymore there are outlets available to seek help.

“When it comes to outside of the casino people can always get in touch with BCLC or access along with other resources such as the BC Gam Info Line if anyone wants to get support either for themselves or someone that they know or a loved one.”

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