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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.

Soon, on August 27, the federal government will make it legal to gamble on individual sporting events. The provinces and territories will be able to set rules for new online and physical-venue forms of single-event sports betting (SESB). With Canadians spending approximately $10 billion per year on SESB through illegal networks, plus additional billions via opportunities in offshore jurisdictions, the new legal changes provide opportunity to regulate and control SESB, and divert money from organized crime.

Please check out this new panel interview clip on CP24 where CAMH Independent Scientist, Dr. Nigel Turner, shares a balanced perspective on some of the risks and opportunities related to legally regulated SESB. Also on the panel are New Democrat MP Brian Masse, who pushed Bill C-218 to move forward, and Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association.

While increased opportunities to gamble create more opportunities for people to develop problem gambling, new efforts are needed to provide responsible gambling tools and information on where to seek help. As Dr. Turner suggests, “What we need is research to find out what are effective responsible gambling tools and information that we can provide to the public to offset the greater availability of gambling."

What are your thoughts on legal SESB in Canada?

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Great clip - I agree that Dr. Turner had some balanced views. Definitely think we'll see some increased advertising! I'm interested in the points made that legalized SESB will likely divert money into legal streams that have the potential to:

1) help people come into contact with responsible gambling (RG) platforms and 2) a portion of that diverted money can be used to fund treatment and education.

I'm also curious how likely the first point is, given these types of bets might not be made in areas that have much RG messaging or people to interact with (e.g., at a convenience store or online). I'm also not familiar enough with the way things are funded to know if the second point will happen as written. Anyone have any insight?

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