Canadians don’t want to roll the dice on expanded gambling

Abstract

Provincial governments have gambled big on gaming and lotteries, collecting almost $14 billion in revenue each year. But are they to be lauded for hitting the jackpot with an important source of funding for public programs? Or condemned for preying on those most vulnerable to addiction?

While the majority (63%) say provincial involvement in gambling is at minimum “more good than bad”, a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute also finds Canadians have little desire to place a bet on an expanded government involvement in gambling. Only one-in-ten (9%) want it. More than four times that many (38%) would like to see involvement reduced.

Further, one-in-four Canadians (26%) report they are personally affected by problem gambling – either because they’re struggling with this addiction themselves – or because they have a close relationship with someone who is. Most say necessary help for this problem has not been forthcoming.

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