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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

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With the launch of iGaming (the organization responsible for regulating online casinos and esport betting sites) in April 2022 a new wave of online gambling and online sports betting opportunities have now opened up to Ontarians. This has also brought with it understandable concerns around the potential increase in problematic gambling.

In a recent CBC article on the launch of iGaming the CEO of Great Canadian Gaming (a brick-and-mortar casino company) highlighted that physical casinos are taxed at a rate of 55% while online gambling sites will be taxed at 20%. Interestingly, he also noted that this tax break favoring online gambling sites will allow these sites to direct more resources towards advertising. Ultimately, in his opinion it would result in casino visitors moving towards online gambling instead.

I wanted to get your thoughts on how the government should regulate gambling advertisements.  

Do you think that the government should regulate the amount of resources these companies can allocate to advertising given the impacts it has on people who gamble problematically?


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My short answer is yes, including the way that media reports on when people win the lottery jackpots. They potentially propagate gambling myths by saying things such as: they won by playing the same numbers for the past 36 years and you could be next, or they picked their numbers by using birthdays and anniversary dates and it finally paid off. This gives people a message that they can somehow influence the outcome of the game.

There is lots more to say but I will leave it at this for now. Just consider how advertising has been regulated for the alcohol and tobacco industry.


The point about regulating how the media reports on lottery jackpots really resonated with me. In my opinion there is a disproportionate emphasis on winners and not enough emphasis on the likelihood of loss which skews people's perspective on their chances of winning. That being said I don't know how popular a news segment would be if they are mostly speaking about people who lost

And that's why they don't report losses. Its just not appealing. Not that they should have to, but stop feeding into the myths about the actual chances of winning. I know that Dr Nigel Turner from CAMH recently did a series of media interviews on gambling and did mention his research on Knowledge of random events and chance in people with gambling problems.

But we are dealing with the gaming industry which is a big fish in the pond.

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