After the long wait, Cascades Casino North Bay has finally opened doors for patrons this week. However, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and the Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing have collaborated to remind locals about the potential risks that can stem from gambling in a new joint campaign named ‘Think You’ll Win?’
The two organizations reminded locals that compulsive gambling disorder should not be underestimated and that more people should be educated on how to gamble for fun only. Such harmful habits can have an impact not only on the one experiencing them, but on their family friends, and even colleagues at work. Risks of such problems also increase with more accessibility of such offerings.
Justine Mallah, a community health promoter with the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit shared that the main objective of the ‘Think You’ll Win?’ campaign is to educate locals on the odds of gambling. According to recent research, misconceptions and misperceptions for gambling among players are quite common. She also reminded that winning big in gambling is less likely than one expects.
The health promoter has also added that this campaign has been in development for several years now. But with the launch of Cascades Casino North Bay and the increase of online gaming in Ontario, it is important to put the word out there and try to educate gamblers. In her words, individuals who win big early, are at a higher risk for problem gambling, since they expect to win even more.
Ms. Mallah has further commented that gamblers should not forget that gambling establishments’ purpose is to make money, meaning that in the long run, patrons are more likely to lose than win. While, Alan McQuarrie, executive director at Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing, indicated that gamblers are often ashamed of their harmful habits and try to keep them a secret.
Mr. McQuarrie added that such secrecy results in shame and even leads to individuals trying to win the money back by playing more, thus making their debts even larger. According to him, shame is a big factor in the issue, and sometimes prevents people from seeking help. He also stated that young males, seniors, indigenous people, and those who have recently experienced loss have a higher chance of being in the ‘high-risk problem gambling’ category.
Online Offerings Already Have an Impact
Back in November 2021, Credit Canada indicated that after the start of the unprecedented situation more and more people are suffering to some degree from compulsive gambling. The organization’s counselors, a larger amount of people are blaming online wagering for their financial perils while looking for advice from Credit Canada. This is due to the increased access to such services from all kinds of mobile devices.
NY Landmarks Raise Awareness Too
South of Ontario, in New York, local organizations such as New York Council on Problem Gambling have joined this year’s Problem Gambling Awareness Month. This initiative is held every March, and now the council informs that Niagara Falls and the Seneca One Building in downtown Buffalo have also joined the cause. Both landmarks were illuminated in yellow, on March 8 to demonstrate their support.
Source: McKee, Jaime “North Bay campaign reminds people of gambling risks”, CTV News Northern Ontario, March 8, 2022