A Guide to Problem Gambling in Canada

Gambling is a major entertainment sector in Canada, rivaling the movie industry. However, for some, it becomes a challenge to control their gambling activities, leading to financial and personal issues.

Recognizing Problem Gambling Problem gambling is an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite negative consequences. It affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Around 3.2% of Canadian adults struggle with this issue, often starting due to chasing losses, stress relief, or the thrill of gambling.

Indicators of Problem Gambling Gambling may be problematic if it leads to neglecting responsibilities, damaging well-being, or causing financial and legal troubles. Signs include:

  • Lying about gambling or money spent
  • Chasing losses
  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Gambling to escape stress
  • Stealing or committing fraud for gambling
  • Prioritizing gambling over other activities

Managing Problem Gambling While some experts recommend complete abstinence, others suggest controlled gambling. To manage problem gambling:

  • Set and commit to goals
  • Change your behavior, thoughts, and beliefs
  • Repair damaged relationships
  • Anticipate and plan for challenges
  • Seek help when needed

Support from Casinos Many casinos in Canada actively monitor for signs of problem gambling and offer assistance, including self-exclusion options.

Getting Help If you or someone you know struggles with gambling, there are numerous support options:

  • Gamblers Anonymous: Offers free, confidential meetings nationwide.
  • Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario: Provides a 24-hour helpline.
  • Gam-Anon: Supports families and loved ones of problem gamblers.

For further assistance or information, contact these groups or a medical professional.