Gambling has been a socially acceptable activity within the Chinese community for a long time, and it is certainly widespread throughout North American society.
For most people, gambling is pleasurable, relaxing and harmless. However, to certain people, gambling causes growing and continuing problems in various aspects of life. According to a survey done in 2000, about 7.9% of the population in Ontario has participated in some forms of gambling in the previous year. In some cases, the behaviour is so compulsive that it is beyond the person's control. These are either problem gamblers or compulsive gamblers, and they represent about 4% of the population, affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
How Can You Tell If You Have a Gambling Problem?
For those whose gambling behaviour is a problem, the simple act of placing a bet is viewed as a SOLUTION rather than a CAUSE to their ongoing problems. Due to gambling, various aspects of their life - family, social relationships, work, finance, health... have been affected.
Some Danger Signals
- An inability to stop gambling whether they win or lose
- Impatience with loved ones
- Fantasizing about having a "big win"
- Neglecting responsibilities in order to concentrate on gambling activities
- Escaping to other excesses (drugs, alcohol, food)
- Losing interest in social activities or gatherings
- Having mood swings
- Considering life "without gambling" as impossible
- Absenteeism and tardiness from work
The effects of problem gambling are progressive. However, most people with gambling problems are unaware and unable to identify the problem. Often, their families and friends are the ones who suffer the most.
Do you or someone you know have a gambling problem?
Do you want to know more about problem and/or compulsive gambling?
CALL US NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION
Responsible Gambling Council
Looking at your cost of play over time will help you understand the long term costs involved in the game that you play. Use the Responsible Gambling Council's new, free Cost2Play Calculator at www.NoRegrets.ca or get the free app - available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones.
For information and counselling services, please contact Chinese Family Services of Ontario at (416) 979 8299.