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CAMH Report Reveals Gambling Affects Up To 3 Million Canadians

CAMH Report Reveals Gambling Affects Up To 3 Million CanadiansIn spite of the growing recognition that gambling affects various aspects of vulnerable individuals’ lives, including mental health, family, and finances, the industry expands at a breakneck pace, and Canada is no exception. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest research facility for mental health and addictions, has recently disclosed a report addressing gambling-related harms. As the report suggested, “as gambling opportunities increase, gambling-related harms tend to increase.”

Of all people who gamble in Canada, 1.6% meet the characteristics of moderate and severe gambling. This represented about 300,000 problem gamblers. However, the CAMH report explained that for every affected gambler, there were another 5 to 10 closely related individuals, which equated to 1.5 million to 3 million people in Canada affected by gambling-related problems. The most common issues they faced were related to mental health disorders and financial distress.

Diagnosed as a behavioral addiction, gambling can not only affect one’s mental and financial well-being, but it can also lead to many other risks, such as depression, suicide, domestic violence, and theft, as per the Canadian Safety Council. The CAMH report further noted, that in comparison to the general population, problem gamblers were 15 times more prone to commit suicide.

As for the socioeconomic status of gamblers, while a smaller percentage of financially disadvantaged people gamble compared to people of higher income, the former were more vulnerable to the adverse effects of gambling. Additionally, lower-income people spent a greater portion of their annual income on gambling. In this respect, the CAMH report noted that “gambling policy can exacerbate health inequity.”

On a provincial level, the study suggested that 1.2% of Ontarians exhibited signs of problem or at-risk gambling. What reaches an alarming level is the percentage of high-school students struggling with gambling problems, where the rate is nearly 50% higher.

The CAMH Report Addresses the Issue of Gambling Advertisements

The CAMH Report Addresses the Issue of Gambling AdvertisementsBesides the growing concerns regarding gambling’s impact on young individuals, the CAMH report addresses the issue of gambling advertising and the volume of ads individuals are exposed to, especially ones related to sports betting.

The report unequivocally concluded that “there is a causal relationship between exposure to gambling advertising and … actual gambling activity” and also “children and youth, as well as those already experiencing gambling problems, are especially susceptible to these effects.”

The CAMH report further added that, currently, there were no special mechanisms in Canada that would limit the amount of advertising vulnerable groups of society were exposed to.

As CasinoGamesPro reported, there is a growing tendency in the Canadian society in support of a nationwide ban on sports betting advertising. Ontario has been at the forefront of the sports betting industry in Canada and is the first province to prohibit sports personalities and celebrities from appearing in sports betting-related ads. The ban has been in force as of February 28, 2024.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.