Latest News
8/30/09 TO 9/5/09

Anti-gambling protest at Sky City casino

New Zealand - Protesters are dumping $5 million - in fake notes - at... Largest casino to draw attention to the scale of problem gambling. / 1 September 2009

Canadian gambling levels off, but addiction persists

Canada - Smith, a gambling research specialist with the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, says the addicted gamblers responsible for a big slice of revenues insulate the industry from the worst of a recession. About five per cent of the adult population has a gambling problem, ranging from mild to severe, he says, but they contribute at least one-third of overall gambling revenues and even more to slot machines and video lottery terminals (VLTs). He started wagering as a 14-year-old working at a race track, the 62-year-old Ottawa resident says, and by 2000, he'd maxed out loans from family members, fallen behind on rent and bill payments and his car was on the verge of repossession. His wife didn't know because he grabbed the overdue bills from the mail before she got home each day and confined his gambling to work hours in between calls for his sales job. Canada also found that the poorest households devote 1.7 per cent of their income to gambling, compared to just 0.4 per cent in the richest households... / Canwest News Service / By Shannon Proudfoot

Casino gambling in Jamaica: Lessons and policy options

Jamaica - The Jamaican government and casinos... Prime Minister Golding notes that gambling already exists in the country in the form of small casinos with slot machines and some tables. The new policy is intended to attract casino hotels. Casino licenses would be granted to establishments with no less than 1,000 rooms and US$1.5 billion in investments. Casino gambling in The Bahamas... Casinos are an important attraction for the five million tourists who visit the country annually, with tourism accounting for 60 per cent of the nation's GDP. The impacts associated with casinos can be classified under three basic areas - social, economic and psychological. The literature on the social and psychological aspects reveals mostly negative impacts, while that on the economy shows both negative and positive impacts. First, some studies reveal that divorce rates among casino gamblers tend to be higher than for the rest of the population. Second, studies argue that there is a link between the rate of compulsive gambling and child neglect. Third, high rates of compulsive gambling have been associated with the prevalence of casinos in some communities, which in turn is linked to higher rates of family violence. Fourth, suicide rates are said to increase with the introduction of gambling. Fifth, casino gambling has been often linked to increased crime rates. Sixth, higher rates of gambling have been linked with poorer communities in the US and Australia. Poorer people are more likely to view gambling as a means of earning money, compared to well-off people who view it as a social activity. Seventh, casino gambling has been linked to a rise in adolescent gambling and an increase in pathological gambling. Sex is often seen as a means to attract gamblers, especially young men. This is especially true of Internet gambling which is becoming popular among youth. For The Bahamas, it would also appear that the country benefits substantially from linking the industry to tourism, while keeping out locals. / Professor Ian Boxill / September 2, 2009

Editorial opinions written by Michael Gorey for The Border Watch newspaper in Mount Gambier, South Australia

Australia - The $17.5m spent on poker machines in the City of Mount Gambier... City of Adelaide, $35.1m. Warrnambool... Losses of $19m last year. What would the $17.5m in Mount Gambier have been spent on, if not poker machines? Would have gone towards food, clothing and the education of children; that money would have found its way into other parts of the economy. / The Border Watch / Michael Gorey

First 24 hour casino planned for Tayside UK

UK - Reverend Ian Galloway... Church of Scotland... "There are already about 250,000 people in the UK that have serious gambling problems. "It's providing poorly paid jobs in an industry that's designed to make people poor and the price will really be paid in the end by vulnerable people and their families and the costs are immense in these families and in these lives." / 8-31-09

Gambling addiction led man to seek cheques from accountant

Ireland - A GAMBLING addict cashed cheques for thousands of pounds stolen from an accountant he had befriended, / ALAN ERWIN / September 5, 2009

High school students given lessons on evils of gambling

Australia - HIGH school students are being given lessons on the evils of gambling in a bid to combat an explosion in the number of teenage punters. Teens were gambling online using their parents' credit cards and "people under 18" were playing poker machines. Children as young as 13 bet among themselves with their lunch money, mobile phones and iPods, Researchers have found problem gambling in Australia is more prolific than illicit intravenous drug use... / The Daily Telegraph / By Bruce McDougall / August 31, 2009

How penniless teen Lotto winner Callie Rogers blew her ?2m fortune - including ?250,000 on cocaine

UK - Rogers, won ?1.8million - but then spent nearly all of it on fast cars, holidays and cocaine... Confessed to blowing ?250,000 on cocaine... Hit the jackpot in 2003 at the age of 16... She told how her drug addict boyfriend Nicky Lawson got her hooked on cocaine too and she wasted a fortune on the drug. Miss Rogers said... / By Chris Brooke / 30th August 2009

Leap in online gambling limit a 'cash grab'

Canada - The B.C. Lottery Corporation's decision to raise the weekly gambling limit... To nearly $10,000 is being criticized as a cash grab. Going from $120 to $9,999. Offshore websites made about $87 million from B.C. players in 2007-08, while PlayNow made about $23.5 million. Ian Gartshore, a former gambling addictions counsellor, said the move smells of government desperation to raise money and reneges on its promise to not contribute to problem gambling. Online sites enable a person to gamble anonymously. They don't have to get dressed or walk into a casino and no one ever sees them. It can also make it easier for addicted gamblers to hide their problem from a spouse or partner. / Nanaimo News Bulletin / By Rachel Stern / August 31, 2009

Lottery criticised for advert which encouraged gamblers to play more

UK - Broadcast regulators ordered Camelot, the lottery's parent company, to drop the emailed advert. The online promotion, "The more you play the more likely you are to win." Camelot encouraged excessive gambling although it rejected the suggesting it implied gambling was 'indispensable.' / 03 Sep 2009

Macau 2Q GDP Falls 13.7% On Year On Decline In Casino Revenue

Macau - Macau, the only city in China where casino gambling is legal, has been suffering from a sharp decline in gambling revenue due to the global downturn, while visa restrictions introduced by the Chinese government have cut the number of visitors from mainland China, the city's most important source of tourists. Beijing tightened restrictions on visits to Macau in the middle of 2008 in an attempt to stop civil servants from gambling and to curb money laundering. / Dow Jones Newswires / By Jeffrey Ng / SEPTEMBER 1, 2009

Make VLT control cards mandatory: critics

Canada - A monitoring system for video lottery terminals that is supposed to allow gamblers to set their own limits should be made mandatory, critics say. A project is underway in Sydney, N.S., to test a gambling control card that tells players how much money they're spending on the machines. If they lose too much, they can cut themselves off. "This would be enough to save large amounts of money for our clients, and in some cases save their jobs, their homes and in fact, in some cases, their lives," Buckley [therapist] told CBC News. / September 2, 2009

More gambling addicts seek help

Singapore - MR MARK Lim, the head of a once-flourishing timber business, earned $200,000 a month, lived in a $2 million bungalow and visited casinos across the world to indulge a 'hobby' in gambling. Nine years on, the bungalow and business are gone. He has also lost more than $3 million at casinos and on 4-D. Home is now a four-room HDB flat, and he earns his keep driving a taxi. Was obsessed with recovering my losses,' says Mr Lim. 'I did not know that my gambling was like a disease to be feared.' A recent study has shown that 3 per cent of youths here may be problem gamblers. Attendance at support group sessions for gambling addicts and their families is overflowing. He lost his winnings in three months - and then his home, office and business. He takes his entire family to group therapy sessions. Aw, 44, He began placing soccer bets, first through bookies, then on the Internet. Owed money to 10 loan sharks... Debts grew to $250,000... 'Gambling addiction is like a flesh-eating bacterium that eats into your flesh bit by bit without you realising at first.' By the time you sense trouble, 'a big chunk of flesh has dropped off', he [Teo] warns. / The Straits Times / Sep 04, 2009

NDP gambling growth? Bad! Grit gambling growth? Good!

Canada - The B.C. Lottery Corporation, with the blessing and mandatory approval of the governing B.C. Liberal Party, announced plans to raise the limit on its Play Now website from $120 to $10,000 a week. "Women in B.C. will die because of gambling expansion. "Children may die as a result of gambling expansion and their blood will be on the heads of the government that expanded gambling and of the MLAs who voted for it." Guess who said that? Why, none other than Kamloops-South Thompson Liberal MLA Kevin Krueger. "It's clear in the research that gambling addicts kill themselves faster and more often than any other type of addict. "There will be no Internet gaming conducted by the B.C. Lottery Corporation - period." From whose lips did such steely words emanate? John Les, the Chilliwack Liberal MLA. A question for Krueger: When these women and children begin dying across the province as a result of unprecedented gambling expansion under his government, will the blood be on his head? / By Christopher Foulds / September 03, 2009

Number of gamblers seeking help trebles

Ireland - THE number of people attending Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings around the country has doubled and in some places trebled over the past six months as people can no longer afford their betting habits. Spokesman for GA... There are several GA meetings every day of the week in the capital, Very much a hidden addiction. In excess of ?3.6 billion was gambled in 1,093 betting shops during 2008. The figure does not include bets taken on-course, online gambling or the National Lottery. A growing number of couples are citing problems around internet usage and time spent in "cyberspace" as a source of marital conflict. One of the key areas causing conflict was internet gambling. / By Jennifer Hough / August 31, 2009

Philippines: Bishops denounce gambling

Philippines - Bishop Lucilius Quiambao protests against the project for a giant shopping mall in Albay, south of Manila, which includes a casino. For the bishop it will "destroy the moral fiber of our community." Msgr. Quiambao is mainly concerned about the impact that gambling can have on ordinary people. The lure of easy money combined with Bahala na, fatalism characteristic of Filipino culture, may end up pushing many people to squander money and time. / August 31, 2009

Study into under-age gambling published

UK - A... Salford professor has called for society to remain vigilant over under-age gambling. Research... Revealed that... While children without siblings at home and those whose parents gamble were also found to be at risk. / By Staff Writer / 4th September 2009

Teenagers bet their mobile and virginity

Australia - Teens are betting their mobile phones, running up debt on parents' credit cards and even wagering their virginity, a study... Has found. 62 per cent of those under 14 years old and 77 per cent of those aged up to 17 had gambled for money or items, Admitted he had stolen his parents' credit card and lost $3000 in online betting. The rising popularity of online gambling, especially online poker, meant many young people could hide their addiction. / 5 September 2009

Tuesday Is Gamble-Free Day In New Zealand

New Zealand - The recession has taken a toll on families... Gambling tends to rise during a recession, with people trying to pay their bills with potential gambling winnings. Restaurants and officials are asking people to stay away from making any bets, It is a way to bring awareness to the potential dangers of gambling. / / By Vincent Tapoglia III / August 31, 2009