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Canada

World’s First Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines: Helping People in Canada Make Informed Decisions

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World's First Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines: Helping People in Canada Make Informed Decisions

 

The Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines released by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) will help people in Canada reduce gambling-related harms. The guidelines, which are the culmination of over five years of intense research, provide evidence-informed advice about how to gamble in a lower-risk way.

The Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines are:

  • Gamble no more than 1% of household income before tax per month
  • Gamble no more than 4 days per month
  • Avoid regularly gambling at more than 2 types of games

For the Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines to be effective, people must follow all three guidelines.

“Gambling is a legal activity that can pose risks to some people in Canada, including financial hardships, relationship conflicts, emotional or psychological distress, and health issues,” explains CCSA Senior Research and Policy Analyst Dr. Matthew Young, who co-chairs the Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines Scientific Working Group that leads the project. “These guidelines will help people in Canada who gamble do so in a way that lowers their risk of experiencing these problems.”

This is the first large-scale, international, comprehensive project in the world to produce guidelines for lower-risk gambling. Developing the guidelines involved:

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  • Collaborating with some of the world leaders in gambling research;
  • Analysis of data from over 60,000 people who gamble from eight different countries;
  • Feedback from over 10,000 people in Canada collected via an online gambling survey;
  • A series of interviews and focus groups with people who gamble from across Canada; and
  • Consultation with over 20 individuals who work in harm reduction, treatment and programs related to gambling.

“Until now, our best advice to people who gamble was to set personal spending and time limits,” states Dr. David Hodgins, Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary and co-chair of the working group. “We can now provide more specific direction on what these limits should be, based upon the experiences of tens of thousands of individuals.”

To present the guidelines, CCSA has created gamblingguidelines.ca. The website provides information on the guidelines, the types of harms people can experience and populations especially at risk, and further safety tips for avoiding gambling harms. There is also a suite of resources that partners and the public can download to help promote the guidelines.

Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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Canada

Edict Egaming Secures Approval for Ontario Licence

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Edict egaming has received approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to provide its games for the online casino market in the Canadian province. This applies to both the German edict egaming GmbH and Edict Malta Limited. From now on, the Merkur Group subsidiary will be able to offer its popular Merkur slots in one of the largest North American markets.

“We are delighted to have received AGCO approval for our Merkur games in Ontario. This is definitely a big step for edict and we are very excited to showcase ourselves to new audiences on the global stage in this dynamic market,” Dominic-Daniel Liénard, CEO of edict egaming GmbH, said.

The AGCO is working with the Government of Ontario and iGaming Ontario (iGO) to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming companies. This license certifies that edict operates within the framework of strict laws and meets the requirements for responsible gaming.

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