Video lottery is the most harmful form of gambling in Canada

Abstract

This paper summarizes the degree to which different forms of legal gambling contribute to Problem and Pathological Gambling (PPG) in Canada. Legal gambling activities were compared using meta-analysis of publicly available data concerning Canada's legal gambling industry. The majority of revenues in the decade spanning 2002-2012 were drawn from Video Lottery Terminals and casino slot machines. Population surveys indicated that three quarters of Canadians reported some form of past-year gambling participation, but most did not play Electronic Gambling Machines. Annual revenues divided by estimated numbers of participants in various gambling activities showed that Video Lottery players spent more money on average than did participants in other forms of gambling. The relative risk of PPG was higher among Video Lottery players than it was for other common forms of gambling. Results from a community study of frequent Video Lottery players showed that the risk of frequent players reporting symptoms of PPG was elevated if they reported playing weekly, spending $50 or more per session, or playing for more than an hour per session. These studies provide converging evidence that Video Lottery is more hazardous to consumers than other forms of gambling that are commonly practised in Canada.

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