Gambling addictions seem to affect more Canadians than you may have previously thought.
One in four Canadians say they have struggled with gambling addictions or know someone close to them who has, according to a new Angus Reid poll.
That represents a total of 7.5 million Canadians.
Most of that group say they or their loved ones have experienced “significant economic loss” as a result of their addiction – that might include losing a car or a house.
A problem gambler was defined by the institute as someone who has difficulty controlling the amount of time or money they spend on gambling, leading to negative consequences.
When asked if they themselves or someone in their household has an issue with gambling, 6% said yes, which works out to 1.7 million Canadians.
Still, that hasn’t stopped a majority of Canadians from gambling. A whopping 82% say they’ve purchased a lottery ticket in the past year, more so than any other form of gambling.
As far as the harmfulness of specific types of gambling goes, Canadians had strong opinions, especially when it comes to online gambling. More than half say online gambling of any kind is harmful, followed by video lottery terminals at pubs and bars, and casino games.
And while a majority of Canadians see the benefit of gambling as a source of provincial revenue, about 26% say government involvement in gambling is “more bad than good,” and only 9% say they’d like to see gambling activities expanded to earn more revenue.