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Problem Gambling

Presentation for group assignment for SOWK2050. York University. Toronto, Canada

Joanna Grabka

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Problem Gambling

References No gambling: People who never gamble
Casual social gambling: People who gamble casually
Serious social gambling: People who play regularly, but it does not come before family and work
Harmful involvement: People who are experiencing difficulties in their personal, work and social relationships due to their gambling
Pathological gambling: People for whom who gambling seriously harms all aspects of their lives. They are unable to control their urge to gamble, despite the harm it causes. 'Problem Gambling' - casinos
- lotteries
- slot machines
- bingo
- raffles
- scratch tickets
- Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)
- sports betting
- gambling behaviours are frequent and no long just for recreation, loss of control over habit

- starts to interfere with a person's work/school, personal relationships, mental/physical health or financial situation Gambling includes: When does it become a problem? - the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes. Gambling - Definition: DSM-IV Criteria: Pathological Gambling A. Persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behaviour as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. is preoccupied with gambling (e.g. preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)
2. needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
3. has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
4. is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
5. gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g. feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)
6. after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
7. lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
8. has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling
9. has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling
10. relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

B. The gambling behaviour is not better accounted for by a Manic Episode. EFFECTS:
Money problems
Emotional problems and isolation
Physical and mental health
Impact on children
Physical and emotional abuse Increased taxes
Loss of jobs from the overall region
Economic disruption of other businesses
Increased crime
Large social-welfare costs for society in general and government agencies in particular
‘Gambling problems’ occur along a continuum and cross all borders There is no one factor that has been proven to cause ‘problem gambling’.
There are, however, a number of factors that may influence whether someone develops a 'gambling addiction'. Causes: On March 15, 1999, the 611 year-old prohibition on dice games was erased from legislation by the federal government in Ottawa. Gambling has a long history in Canada, dating back to 1497. In 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code declared a complete ban on all gambling activities. By 2001, Canadian provinces would play host to:

 38,652 Video Lottery Terminals at 8309 locations

 31,537 slot machines

 32,932 lottery ticket centres

 1,880 bingo hall permits

 59 permanent casinos

 70 race tracks (20 are "racinos" or race tracks with slot machines)

 107 betting teletheatres History of gambling

Society's view of gambling has changed considerably during the last century. There was a time when society viewed gambling evil. It was morally deemed a sin and was also an illegal activity that would result in a prison sentence Society's Changing Views on Gambling: Three Main Ways Gambling Has Been Conceptualized:

Sin: Prohibition- Gambling is illegal

Vice: Grudging acceptance- Gambling is geographically isolated

Entertainment: Linked to positive virtues- Gambling is actively promoted and widespread Gender differences between male and female ‘problem gamblers’. During the 1950's, there was a change in attitude towards gambling. It was now “grudgingly accepted”. In recent times, there has been a dramatic shift in the manner that society views gambling and how it is delivered. It is now promoted as just another form of adult entertainment and is readily accessible to most people. 'Gambling problems’ are seen as personal problems, rather than being related to systemic or structural issues which has a significant impact on the proposed solutions. Solutions are focused on changing the individual, rather than addressing the systemic issues that are contributing to the issue. • “ CAMH (2005) Problem A Guide for Helping Professionals, Gambling” as represented by the medical model (pp. 1-50)

In comparison to:
Baines (2011) article“ An Overview of Anti-Oppressive Practice”(pp. 1-10) AOP vs. Medical Model The Categorization of 'Gamblers' • Medical Model
“Normal” Problem Gamblers
“Emotionally Vulnerable” Gamblers
“Biologically Based” Gamblers

Small p vs. Big P
The framing of social issues and its relation to public policy Medical Model
• Increased risk affiliated with youth
• Increased risk affiliated with new immigrants

• Micro and Macro social relations generate oppression
• How does it relate to both youth and new immigrants? 'Risk Groups' Medical Model
• Practitioners have little to no involvement in client's decision, should identify new options, provide feedback

• “No political free zone in social work”
• How the OLG is becoming more and more privatized
• Potential for conflict of interest 'Problem Gambling' Counselling Approaches Understanding why people gamble so we can find the most appropriate treatment/prevention
who is most 'at risk'?

Effective treatment of 'gambling addictions'
various treatments and effectiveness

Possible barriers to treatment
variables that are correlated with 'successful' treatment and relapse After reviewing the previous 'treatment' options,
please consider this 'solution' to 'gambling addictions'... What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of using a pill to 'cure' 'gambling addictions'? 'Problem Gambling' Treatment Discussion Questions: Alcoba, N. (2013). Mixed reactions as OLG adds Vaughan to list of possible casino sites. National Post. Retrieved from

Baines, Donna. 2011. An overview of anti-oppressive practise: Roots, theory, tensions.
PP.1-24. Donna Baines (ed.), Doing anti-oppressive practise: Building transformative
politicized social work, 2nd edition. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing

Center for Addiction and Mental Health. (2005). Problem Gambling the issues, the options disorders. Toronto, ON: Problem Gambling Project staff.

Dubois, C. (2013). Women and gambling. Retrieved from http://www.problemgambling.ca/EN/ResourcesForProfessionals/Pages/WomenandGambling.aspx

Flordia, R (2012, November 25th). Gambling away our cities: Why New Yorkers must fight the drive to legalize full-scale gaming. New York Daily News. Retrieved from: www.nydailynews.com/opinion/gambling-cities-article-1.1206079#ixzz2Ol5SmCtt

Ferentzy, P., & Turner, N.E., (in press). A History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, Substance Abuse, Medicine, and Metaphors. Springer.

Howlett, K. (March 16, 2013). Paul Godfrey’s Small World. The Globe and Mail, p. M4-

Kindt, John. 1994b. "The Economic Impacts Of Legalized Gambling Activities." Drake Law Review 43, pp. 51, 66 n. 119. Thanks for watching! 1. Do you think flipping a coin to decide an issue is gambling?
2. Do you think gambling a sin?
3. What do you think about computer games for children that involve play gambling (i.e. no money involved)?
4. Is gambling bad for society? Should it be made illegal?
5. Should a casino be built in Toronto? Causes Media’s role in promoting gambling and its impact • Media shapes public opinion
We live in an age of media frenzy where our actions and opinions on social issues such as gambling are increasingly influenced and shaped by media that is controlled by the corporate world. Today media has become an effective tool to serve the interest and need of corporates, institutions and governments. Buying Ad space, publishing sponsored articles, hiring bloggers in web media and doing product launch to promote goods and services like gambling in all forms of mass media has become a social norm in this capitalist society. • Gambling Commercials are highly intrusive
With the growing craze for smart phones and tablets equipped with high speed internet, the gambling advertisements has virtually become unavoidable and intrusive in our daily lives. Our perception on any goods and services that we consume and use in daily life are first learned through media. •Media’s promotion of Casino in the name of creating jobs and helping out local charities, schools are misleading
Media has projected casinos as a great source of income and employment. Whether Toronto should have a Casino or not is one such example which is frequently discussed and promoted in all forms of media. The various stake holders private, corporate and politicians have been strategically pushing for establishing Casino in Toronto using media.

For example, Mr. Rob Ford during one of the press briefings said, “if Toronto doesn’t say yes, a nearby city will pick it and the jobs up”
He highlights casino as an opportunity to source employment and income for the city of Toronto. But he never mentions about the possible damages that Casino could bring to families and communities across Toronto. •Mass Media commodifies services like gambling and erodes our traditional social and family values
Media’s commodification of gambling into a lucrative business challenges the very existence of our society’s traditional norms and family values. Media projects Casinos as a huge lucrative business worth of millions and billions. Hence, gambling is never projected as detrimental to families and communities, rather it is portrayed as a gold mine for corporates, organizations and governments to milk profit. •Gambling commercials target all age groups including kids as young as toddlers
The gambling ads persistently push for greater consumption aiming at all age groups. The influence and impact of gambling commercials is deep and extensive affecting all age groups from toddlers to seniors. The commercials are not only persuasive and evasive, but often misleading as well.

•Media plays role in normalizing Gambling as a Normal human activity
Media coverage on gambling is gradually transforming our society’s traditional values making certain behaviours and actions such as Gambling seem as NORMAL. Gambling today is projected as a NORMAL human behaviour in mass media, so these eye catching commercials inspires people to bet more, play more OLG, Casino and Porker to make fortune overnight.

•Media projects gambling as modern life style
Gambling is also projected as a part of modern life style, a source of ‘entertainment and fun’ in many forms of media. It is even made legal in designated areas like casino. Casino Rama Commercial 'Modern OLG' Commercials OLG Scratch Card Commercial OLG Commercial - Singing •Gambling is portrayed as a normal human activity and shows as a part of the modern life style represented through a modern young couple in the Casino commercial, but it never says about the reality of disrupting traditional, family and social values Analysis on Casino, OLG and Porker commercials •There are misleading facts that are associated with those Casino, OLG and other gambling commercials. The promise of employment, supporting local charities, schools and educational institutions doesn’t actually realize the way they promised in their commercials. These commercials never mentions about how private and corporate stake holders are benefited from these businesses. •Casino Ad also projects gambling activities as an escape to boredom, tension, pressures in life and even rejuvenates love life but it never gives a slightest hint of the possible tensions, stress and anger it brings into an individual and family lives when one looses all savings. •The Porker Ad creates the chances of winning are unrealistically high but never says how many could actually win the Jackpot. The chances of winning could be less than one percent. •The first Casino commercial is persuasive. It fantasizes gambling as a source of fun and enjoyment. It also creates an elusive dream that lures young, adults and seniors. Besides, It doesn’t warn audience of its addictive nature and the risk of loosing money. •The OLG commercial makes you believe that participating in gambling activities is fun and exciting but it doesn’t say anything about how much it would cost to have those perceived fun and excitement •Shows as a good way to socialize and meet friends but gambling could also leads to isolation, emotional and behavioural problems. Such issues are invisible in these gambling commercials Gambling commercials and its impact on kids Gambling commercials’ impact on kids may seem insignificant, but in reality kids are often the most vulnerable targets of gambling commercials that are splashed in all forms of media particularly in the web media. Today’s parents have to be on high alert about their children’s online behaviours.

Gambling in the forms of online games that are partly free are offered to kids in abundance. Such online games are highly addictive and easily accessible to kids through their mom or dad’s smart phones and tablets.

Kids in fact experience the first taste of gambling through online games, Dave & Busters, Chuckee Cheese, McDonald house and so on. These places inspire kids on the path to gambling in cunning and hidden ways Analysis on McDonald, Chuck E. Cheese's and Dave & Busters Commericals •These commercials put pressure on parents to take their kids to these casino like entertainment places.

•These commercials creates and enforces a wrong imagination that kids could only be happy when they are taken to Dave and Busters and Chuck E. Cheese.

•The kids are hooked up in the atmosphere of fun and excitement that are shown in the commercials in TV and web media thus limits the kids’ own creativity of having outdoor activities with nature which used to be the primary fun for kids. •McDonald House and Happy Meals are some of the smart commercials that are targeted specifically to kids. These commercials creates an urge to eat more to win more toys. Although the strategy may seem different from actual gambling but the idea is no different. Both aim at hooking up the client towards particular game or services.
•Dave and Busters and Chuck E. Cheese commercials portray the experience as fun filled, lot of winnings, bonus game tickets, good food and enjoyment. But, its negative impacts of sawing the seeds of gambling habits in the casino like atmosphere are never mentioned and warned to kids and parents. The severity of the problem is not dependent on the amount of money lost because some people have more disposable income to spent, without it effecting their overall budget...

Households with incomes of $80,000 or more,
75% have gambled, spending an average of $620

Households with incomes of $20,000 or less,
46% have gambled , spending an average of $390
(which is a bigger portion of their total income) On average, men spent almost twice as much women on gambling activities. $615 $335 Numbers & Stats 6 in 10 Canadians reported spending money on at least one gambling activity 3.2% of Canadians are affected by moderate to severe 'problem gambling' 6.3% of all
Canadians are at risk
of 'problem gambling' and 0.8% are severe
'problem gamblers' How common is this 'problem'?
How many people affected? In Ontario, 2.6% are moderate 'problem gamblers' Aboriginal gamblers were 3x more likely to have or be at risk of having a problem than non-Aboriginals (2006) (2002) In 2009, the average gambling revenue per person over 18 in Canada...? $515 IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
Health care
Treatment for problem gambling
Bankruptcy losses
Civil and criminal proceedings
Increased policing
All costs related to incarceration While the dollars invested in various legalized gambling projects and the jobs initially created are evident, the industry has been criticized for inflating the positive economic impacts and trivializing or ignoring the negative impacts (Goodman 1994).

While politicians and casino investors seek to sell gambling complexes to the public as magic economic bullets, virtually every independent economic development expert disagrees — and they have the studies to back it up.

When gambling is added in more prosperous places, the benefits to other, more deserving places are diminished due to the new competition.

The competition for the gambling dollar intensifies….gambling spreads… bringing with it more and more of the social issues

Two studies of the riverboat casinos in Illinois concluded that for every one job created by the riverboats, most of the surrounding communities probably lost one or more jobs from pre-existing businesses (Grinols 1994; Grinols & Omorov 1995). Economic Disruption to Jobs and Other Businesses A Closer Look at the Impact on Social Welfare Casino cities are “dual cities” defined by “two-tiered economies,” according to John Hannigan of the University of Toronto. “[C]rack cocaine-addled prostitutes struggle to survive in the underground economy that flourishes . . . in close proximity to the glittering casinos.”

Legalized gambling activities act as a regressive tax on the poor (Clotfelter and Cook 1989). Specifically, the legalization of various forms of gambling activities makes "poor people poorer" and can dramatically intensify many pre-existing social-welfare problems.

Demographic analyses reveal that certain disadvantaged socioeconomic groups tend to gamble proportionately greater amounts of their overall income and marketing efforts have allegedly been directed at these target groups. Currently, 'pathological gambling' classified as impulse control disorder... In then next edition of the DSM, 'pathological gambling' will be classified alongside substance addictions and will be considered as the only 'behavioural addiction'... How do you think its classification as a ‘behavioural disorder’ will affect how the issue is viewed? Pokerstars.com Commercial
Korn, D., Gibbins, R., Azmier, J. (2003). Framing public policy toward a public health paradigm for gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 19 (2).

Lacouceur, R. Lachance, S., Fournier, P. (2009). Is control a viable goal in the treatment of pathological gambling. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47 (189-197).

Lindberg, A., Fernie, B.A., Marcantonio, M.S. (2011). Metacognitions in problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 27, 73-81.

Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario. (2012). Risk factors for developing a gambling problem. Retrieved from http://www.problemgambling.ca/gambling-help/gambling-information/risk-factors.aspx

Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario. (2013). History of Gambling. Retrieved from http://www.problemgambling.ca/EN/AboutGamblingandProblemGambling/Pages/HistoryOfGambling.aspx

Ravel, M. (2010). Gambling Addiction: Six Facts We Need To Know. Retrieved from:

Suurvali, H., Cordingley, J., Hodgins, D.C., Cunningham, J. (2009). Barriers to seeking help for gambling problems: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25, 407-424.

Wikipedia. (2003). Toontown Online. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2007). Club Penguin. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_Penguin

Wikipedia. (2007). Poptropica. Retrieved from
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