Tuesday, November 02, 2004

36 Per Cent of Gambling Cash is From Problem Gamblers

Ontario wins 36% of gambling cash from problem gamblers
Last Updated Tue, 02 Nov 2004 12:14:15 EST

TORONTO - People with gambling problems account for more than a third of the $4 billion spent each year by Ontario residents at casinos, racetracks and lottery kiosks, a new study suggests.
About 4.8 per cent of Ontario residents have a gambling problem, according to a new study by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre.
But even though those Ontarians gamble away about $1.41 billion annually, the province spends just $36 million each year on gambling research, prevention and treatment.
"Ontario appears to derive a substantial portion of its gaming revenue from problem gamblers," said study co-author Robert Williams, a professor at the University of Lethbridge.
"Government-sponsored gambling is therefore contrary to the interest of the general populace, and therefore contrary to the purpose of government."
The study found that problem gamblers accounted for about 36 per cent of gambling revenue overall, but up to 60 per cent of revenue from gaming machines.
By comparison, problem gamblers generated 53 per cent of the revenue made on horse racing, and 19 per cent of the money raised from lotteries.
The conclusions were based on a survey of 2,424 Ontario residents who provided estimates of their gambling expenses for a month, and another 364 people who completed diaries that charted four weeks of gambling activity.