North Bay Commences Own Problem Gambling Campaign

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North Bay. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has collaborated with the Community Counselling Centre in Nipissing to highlight the risks of problem gambling.

After a long wait, the Cascades Casino North Bay has finally opened its doors for local patrons this week. Simultaneously, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit partnered with the Nipissing’s Community Counselling Centre to warn the locals about the potential risks associated with gambling, with a campaign entitled Think You’ll Win?.

The two organisations reminded the locals that compulsive gambling should not be underestimated and that people should be educated on how to gamble for fun. Harmful gambling habits impact not only the gamblers but also their families, friends, and even work colleagues. Risks of problem gambling also increase with greater accessibility.

Educating Locals About Problem Gambling

Justine Mallah, a North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit promoter, shared that the campaign’s main objective is to educate locals on the vices of gambling. According to research, misconceptions about gambling are pretty common among players. She also reminded that big wins in gambling are less likely than one expects.

Mallah added that this campaign was in the pipeline for several years. But with the launch of Cascades Casino North Bay and an increase in online gambling across Ontario, it was essential to educate the gamblers as soon as possible. In her words, individuals who score big wins early in their lives are at a higher risk of problem gambling since they expect to continue winning in the future.

Mallah further noted that the purpose of casinos is to make money, meaning that, in the long run, patrons are likelier to lose than win. Alan McQuarrie, the executive director at Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing, stated that gamblers are often ashamed of their habits and keep them a secret.

McQuarrie added that such concealment results in embarrassment and leads gamblers to chase losses, making their debts even larger. According to him, shame plays a significant factor in the problem and hinders people from seeking help. McQuarrie also stated that young males, senior citizens, indigenous people, and those who recently experienced loss have a higher chance of slipping into the problem gambling category.

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