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Solving Gambling Addiction Hard in Ontario. 2005-09-29
The report by Stanley Sandinsky, Former Chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation wants to help gambling addicts. He believes the only way to do so is to have the province put a distance between the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to make it more effective. Ontario Ministry of Health should not be in control of that any longer it is up to the commission to take care of this. Not all the money that is set for prevention and rehabilitation isnít enough, and isnít always going to the right places.
The province is supposed to allow 2% of gambling revenues to the treatment of problem gamblers. In 2003-04 only $22 million of the $36 million that was allocated to problem gambling actually found its way to the right place. The government is expected to release the rest of that deficit to the 2004-05 year.
Some feel because of these stats, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission are focused on making money from gamblers, not preventing them, or helping them. 5,900 problem gamblers were treated in 2004-05, below the ministry's projections of treatment of 8,600 gamblers. Not the difference they were hoping to make.
The report recommends revamping the programs including; telephone and Internet services, and research. The report also believes more money should be spent on education on responsible gaming, to avoid becoming a gambling addict. Thatís a start at least for Ontario; itís up to the province if they will take advantage of that.
(By Andrea)