Sports betting advertising has become very common, especially since it was officially made legal in Ontario in the spring of 2022 and local regulators started monitoring it.
However, the more ubiquitous it is, the bigger the demand for the problem gambling in-patient treatment program in Windsor’s Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, which is currently the only one of its kind in the province of Ontario. This was confirmed by one of the gambling counselors at Hôtel-Dieu, Diana Gabriele, who also noted that she could foresee the rising demand for problem gambling treatment programs.
Ms. Gabriele noted that counselors knew that the ease of access and increased accessibility, as a whole, along with the development of technology solutions, would make people more susceptible to potential gambling-related harm and the risk associated with gambling. The professional gambling counselor further explained there had been an increase in such exposure since April 2022, when single sports betting became available online.
Canada’s Federal Government legalized betting on individual sporting events in 2021. This provided all provinces around the country with the opportunity to regulate the new form of gambling themselves. As mentioned above, Ontario became the first Canadian province to establish a regulated sports betting program that was officially rolled out in April.
More People Seeking Professional Help at Ontario-Based Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
Diana Gabriele, one of Hôtel-Dieu’s gambling counselors, shared there was an influx of worried people before the launch of Ontario’s problem gambling treatment program. She explained that people coming to the counselors for advice had been really concerned and panicked about the easy accessibility of sports betting, especially considering the fact they already had a gambling problem.
Ms. Gabriele noted that watching sports events and betting on such events can really be fun, but it affects people’s brains, too. The problem gambling counselor explained that, when stimulated by this form of gambling, the human brain releases massive doses of dopamine, which in its turn causes a euphoric state, as well as feelings of contentment, excitement, and fun. This could lead to easily losing track of the money a person is spending and how deep they are getting into the gambling activity.
Currently, there has been a massive effort for the legalization of sports betting in Canada, including by Member of Parliament Brian Masse, so that so-called cross-border commuters are lured into spending cash at Caesars Windsor, and saving jobs. On November 3rd, a total of 10 sports betting kiosks were launched by the aforementioned casino venue.
Ms. Gabriele shared that Caesars has been a partner of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor, Ontario, to help those affected by problem gambling. Still, she noted that individuals should watch for signs they may have a problem, such as keeping their gambling secret, gambling alone and hiding their activities or the amount of money that they are spending, losing control of their gambling or being unable to stop themselves.