"70 per cent of Quebecers gamble: study
Researchers find men who play VLT, online games most at risk of addiction"
Most Quebecers gamble and tens of thousands are at risk of having a pathological gambling problem, according to a study released Wednesday by a team of Montreal researchers.
The study by researchers at Concordia University and the University of Montreal surveyed 11,888 people in the Montreal area about their gambling habits, and found that 70 per cent of them had spent money in the previous year on lotteries, slot machines, video lottery terminals and poker.The average amount of money spent was $483 a year.Based on the survey, the researchers concluded that 41,000 Quebecers could be a risk of becoming pathological gamblers, or 0.7 per cent of the population.Sylvia Kairouz, director of Concordia University's Lifestyle and Addiction Research Laboratory, said young men who play VLTs or gamble online are most at risk of developing a serious gambling problem."They play more often and spend more substantial amounts of money. Some also reported increased problems associated with alcohol abuse or cannabis use," said Kairouz.
Kairouz said the survey results point to the importance of reaching out to gamblers before a pastime evolves into a serious habit.
The telephone survey was conducted between June and September 2009 among 11,888 non-institutionalized adults over the age of 18.The study released Wednesday and funded by the Quebec government was the first stage of a five-year analysis of gambling habits in the province, with the next installment expected in 2012.Researchers plan to use their findings to support recommendations for prevention and treatment of gambling-related issues.
Government betting on online gaming industryEarlier this year, the Quebec government created an advisory committee of independent experts to study the effects of online gambling, as the province's gaming agency Loto-Québec prepares to launch its own site.The site was expected to be launched this fall.Government officials estimate the total gaming revenue in Quebec is currently $50 million a year.The study results come just days after a Quebec man won $8.9 million US in the World Series of Poker championship.