Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Evening Bulletin - Gambling Fever: Wages On The Rise Along With Ethical Concerns

The Evening Bulletin - Gambling Fever: Wages On The Rise Along With Ethical Concerns: "Social Poison
Doctors who gathered at the recent annual conference of the British Medical Association termed gambling a 'social poison,' the Scotsman newspaper reported June 28. 'Gambling addiction is as corrosive as drug addiction and alcoholism in terms of family breakup and financial ruin,' said Dr. David Sinclair, a general practitioner.
Canada's Vanier Institute of the Family was also critical of gambling. It released a study June 11 entitled 'Gambling with our (Kids') Futures: Gambling as a Family Policy Issue.'
The author, Arlene Moscovitch, noted that the country abounds in places where you can lose your money: 87,000 gambling machines; 33,000 lottery ticket centers; 60 permanent casinos; and 250 racetracks and teletheaters. There are also 25,000 licenses for bingo, temporary raffles, and pull tabs, such as lottery-type tickets.
In 2003-04, government-run gambling rang up a gross profit of $13 billion Canadian ($11.6 billion U.S.), an increase of $700 million Canadian ($629 million U.S.) from the reported profits of the year before. Of that, $6.4 billion Canadian was net profit for the provinces.
People are continually presented with visions of the 'good life' to be gained through getting lucky and raking in a big win. That message arrives via numerous gambling advertisements in print, on radio, television, the Internet and billboards, Moscovitch noted.
The Vanier Institute paper cited research on Canadian gamblers showing the following:
* The per-adult gambling loss in Canada for 2003-04 was $596 Canadian - nearly $50 Canadian per person per month.
* Household spending is estimated at $1,080 Canadian"
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