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For individual people, there are various health, economic and psychological risks associated with problem gambling. New gambling opportunities provided by governments do sometimes correlate to increases in gambling. Although governments profit by their monopoly over the gaming industry, they use a percentage of the money to support programs for problem gambling prevention.
Internet gambling, which was previously illegal, will be launched this fall in Quebec, B.C.
It’s a classic Catch-22: regulating gambling can make it “safer,” but it also lends it respectability and fosters its spread, thereby putting more individuals at risk of developing gambling addictions. In 2000, the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry reported the results of a study measuring the response of the residents of Hull, Que.


The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, for example, uses 2 to 3 per cent of its revenues to fund problem gambling.
A 2009 gambling prevalence study in the province found that 72 per cent of problem gamblers play VLTs. The Canada Safety Council estimates that about 200 people commit suicide each year due to problem gambling.
Judith GlynWilliams, director of grants operations at the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, told The Interim that many current internet gambling sites have problems with the fairness of their games and responsible gambling practices. Lotteries, horse racing, charitable gaming, casinos, slot machines, video lottery terminals and internet gambling are all somewhere in Canada, though some provinces limit or prohibit certain kinds of gambling. However, according to the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, problem gamblers are responsible for 36 per cent of the OLG’s revenue.


Ken Hanna, the executive director of the Safe Bet Society in Nova Scotia, recommended that the government issue gambling control cards, which allow users to limit their money and time spent gambling.
Quebec’s 18 directors of public health recommended that the province properly examine the risks of online gambling because of its addictiveness. According to a study by Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, 10 to 25 per cent of internet gambling participants suffer from problem gambling. Internet gambling will bring the problem into people’s homes and workplaces and allow addicts to access their favourite games any time.




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