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Study: 70% of Quebec Residents Gamble

10 November 2010 by admin

loto-quebec-svgEarlier this year, Quebec announced that their lottery monopoly, Loto Quebec, would offer online gambling services for the province’s residents. This followed on the heels of British Columbia launching their own online casino, PlayNow.com. Quebec hopes to have its own online gambling site up and running by 2012.

As you can imagine, that announcement was met with a lot of excitement from gambling proponents and a lot of worry from gambling opponents. As you can also imagine, there have been and will continue to be a lot of studies about gambling behavior in the Canadian province. One study has recently been released.

The initial findings from a survey conducted by Concordia University, the Centre Dollard-Cormier Institute universitaire sur les dependances and the University of Montreal are interesting. They show that almost 70% of adults in Quebec reported having gambled in one form or another during the previous 12-month period. Most of the residents are not high rollers, though, as the report also says that the average adult spends $483 on gambling during the year.

While 70% of the province gambles, the report states that less than 1.3% of the population is at a “moderate risk” of developing a gambling problem. Approximately 0.7% of the population is at serious risk of becoming pathological gamblers, according to the study.

Opponents of gambling will use those numbers to justify their worries. Thousands of Quebec residents are in danger of developing a gambling problem! While it’s true that even one person with a gambling problem is tragic, let’s try to put the numbers in perspective, shall we? According to a different study, 39.5% of Quebec residents are at risk for alcohol addiction. In Montreal, 8.08% of the population is undergoing treatment for drug or alcohol problems. Approximately 41% occasionally or regularly use illicit drugs. All of those problems make 1.3% and 0.7% sound pretty small in comparison, don’t they? Or if you’re going to make the argument that gambling is too dangerous, then you definitely need to push for banning alcohol as well. Those numbers don’t even touch on the problem with drunk driving.

I don’t mean to make light of the fact that some players develop a compulsive habit of gambling. Though it is not a physiological addiction like with drugs or alcohol, the compulsive behavior can become a very real problem. Making sure there is ample help for those people is important. However, let’s not miss the positive side of the study (though those who conducted the study see it as a negative). Almost 70% of Quebec residents already gamble. I would imagine most of them would consider gambling online as well. If that’s not a good reason to go ahead with the online casino plans, I don’t know what is.

One Response to “Study: 70% of Quebec Residents Gamble”

  1. danielle jacobs says:

    well I don’t see any problems on this one, as long as the gamblers know their limitations.