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Casinos Don’t Recognize Addicts When They See Them. 2005-09-01
Canada’s Nova Scotia is not doing enough to keep problem gamblers away from the casinos. Two the areas casinos, are guilty of this. One example is a story of a former Cape Breton coal miner, Paul Burrell, who lost $500,000 to slot machines over three years ago.
Although Nova Scotia legislation says casino need to identify gambling addicts and ban them. Burrell's case is an example of someone, who could have been stopped, according to Dick Murtha, a lawyer for fighting this subject. He is now leading a lawsuit aimed at video lottery terminals.
Casinos need to show responsibility and take care of the problem right away. Then there will no longer be Burrell’s of the world. In his case, he gambled from January of 2000 to February 2003. He gambled much of his money away at a casino in Sydney. Despite this he kept playing and the staff let him, even though he was losing, and it was clear he was addicted.
Mr. Burrell's banking records show he gambled $200,000 worker's compensation settlement, family savings of $80,000 and around $200,000 from his re-mortgaged house and personal loans. NDP justice critic Kevin Deveaux said the casinos and the government are ignoring their responsibility, as seen in this case.
Mr. Burrell has threatened to sue the government in order to force them to do more for casino addicts. Only last spring, the gaming policy increased funding for treatment programs to a little more than $4-million annually. This went to hotlines, and treatment centers. Since the plan went through, 54% between January and July increased their request for help. Help is a step to recovery, but casinos need to nip addicts at their bud.
(By Andrea)