Striking gold

The British Columbia Lottery Corp. is considering making changes to a controversial program that rewards casino goers when they gamble. Established four years ago, participants are given a so-called "gold player card" that can be inserted into slot machines across the province. For every dollar that's spent at a machine, the player earns points worth half-a-cent each that can be redeemed for cash. Participants are also eligible to participate in exclusive contests and events, as well as receive hotel room and meal discounts.

In 2006, American anti-gambling activists exclusively told Public Eye that program was "diabolical," referring to it as an "addiction stimulus device" - descriptions rejected by the Crown corporation. Now, according to a document posted on the government procurement Website last week, the corporation is thinking about offering "other benefits" through that program.

The document doesn't specifically say what those benefits will be. The lottery corporation was unable to provide further details because it is only in the "early stages of considering potential enhancements" to that program.

But the document does state the corporation is looking for a company to develop a service that will allow BC Gold members to track their activities online. The service will also provide "access to responsible gaming information."

The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned document.

BC Gold player card Web portal request for proposal

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