An event organizer has been the cause for the cancellations of a holiday market in Waterloo, Ontario. It was revealed that just days after calling off the It’s Christmas Market, Stacy Cliff also cancelled Shopalooza and told hundreds of vendors from the event that their deposits were lost. It turns out that the organizer used the money to gamble and lost it.
It should be noted that Ms. Cliff was a regular at these kinds of craft events and often had the role of organizing them. Over time she earned a strong reputation among her peer for work, however, she recently shared on social media that she suffered from problem gambling addiction. This eventually led to her gambling away the vendors’ money for the holiday-themed markets.
Issuing an Official Apology
In her social media post, Ms. Cliff expressed her profound apologies to vendors and said her mental health addiction and her absolute selfishness created a storm she was not able to control. She also noted that she has taken everyone’s trust and money, and has done the very worst thing she could do, which was to not put it where it belonged and gamble it.
Now, Shopalooza will proceed but under a different name and with lower registration costs. Also, two community members will take over as organizers – Debbie Mills and Hespeler Legion Branch 272 event coordinator Max Dyke. For the Christmas Craft Market vendors will be charged just CA$10 to enter. Prior to that, Ms. Cliff asked vendors for payments between CA$50 and CA$250.
Ms. Cliff’s story should be used as a warning sign of what can happen when gambling-related issues are not dealt with. Bettors should always remember that Ontario offers plenty of in-person and discrete responsible gambling resources for people dealing with addiction. Help can be found with Connex Ontario, as its experts are available to help 24 hours a day.
Additionally, individuals can also seek help from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health which is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. It is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
Recovering Problem Gambler Criticizes Ontario
Nowadays there are plenty of gambling offerings for a bettor to choose from, especially in Ontario where the province opened its iGaming sector to private operators. And, recovering gambling addict, Noah Vineberg has criticized the province for its late attempts to tackle gambling addictions. The province banned the use of athletes in ads, but he believes it came too late.
Meanwhile, in September 2023, LegalBet Canada launched an inquiry into the impact of the influx of gambling advertisements in the country and what effects they may have on different demographics. According to research, some ads drastically influence viewers with an already higher appeal for gambling or are inherently more susceptible to excessive gambling.
Source: Lomon, Matthew “How Problem Gambling Was Nearly The Grinch That Stole Christmas In Waterloo” PlayCanada, October 31, 2023