LETTER: More needs to be done to fight gambling addictionPublished: July 29, 2016
Re: Seniors excited about proposed casino for Victoria (Gazette, July 27)
As a 75 year old senior, I am excited about another casino locating in Greater Victoria, but not for the reasons given in the article.
Don’t other seniors and the general public realize that the B.C. Treasury takes in over a billion dollars annually from gambling - more than comes in from forestry. And for the small indulgences and pleasures it offers a few of us seniors, it increases the number of confirmed addicts, including adults, children and grandchildren. And that costs us hundreds of millions of dollars to repair families and relationships damaged by this so-called benign pastime.
That my fellow seniors can’t appreciate that is beyond me.
Everyone connected to the gambling industry must confront the scope and magnitude of gambling addiction in this province. And all of us must demand that our politicians face this social disease and use our money for programs that enhance the family and community.
Otherwise we become party to turning our provincial government, including municipal governments, into the most insidious pimps ever known.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Has Boom In Gaming Industry Increased Gambling Addiction?
July 29, 2016
By Tracey Leong
VIDEO ON LINK
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new study will be looking into the booming business and the impact it has on people living in Maryland.
Since 2010, the state has seen a rapid growth of gambling, with a new one popping up almost every year, and a sixth on the way.
Researchers want to know if the booming fambling industry is also increasing gambling addiction.
“We know that gambling has an impact on things like suicide–highest suicide of any addiction–bankruptcy, domestic violence,” said Jeffrey Beck, a clinical director for the University of Maryland, focusing on gambling problems.
Having overcome his own gambling addiction, Beck knows the disorder all too well.
His concern is the accessibility of in Maryland.
“You can’t get hooked until you try it,” Beck said.
Experts say only five percent of gamblers are actually addicted, and there have been no studies that show casinos cause the problem.
While researchers are working to determine a casino’s impact on a gambling addiction, it’s clear they’re a huge economic boost for Maryland, bringing in a record revenue of more than $100 million a month.
But casinos are not the only way people can gamble.
“You can gamble on your cell phone, you can do it online, you can do it by phone. So there are so many means,” said Sharon Bolden, Institute for Behavioral Resources.
Bolden has an extensive background in treating those with a gambling addiction. She says the responsibility falls on the individual, not the industry.
“I don’t believe that they’re feeding off those with an addiction because I think they are being as responsible as they can be,” said Bolden.
Researchers hope to have the survey results of casinos impacting addiction available by the end of 2017.
For information on treating a gambling addiction, CLICK HERE.
Tracey Leong joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2014 as a general assignment reporter. Her journalism career began in Southern California, where she was born and raised. She worked as an intern at KABC and an editorial assistant at KNBC in Los...