Responsible Gambling Council

Responsible Gambling Council

March 03, 2009 09:01 ET

A Cautionary Tale: Ontario Boomers Get a Gambling Reality Check

Responsible Gambling Council: March is Problem Gambling Prevention Month

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) -

Editors Note: There are three videos associated with this Press Release.

March is Problem Gambling Prevention Month, and the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is encouraging Ontario Boomers to give themselves a reality check to help ensure that occasional gambling today, won't become a problem in the future as they transition into retirement.

"We're encouraging Boomers to learn about the risks now, because it's easier to prevent a problem than it is to overcome one," explains Jon Kelly, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council.

RGC Estimates 2.1% of Ontario Adults 55+ have a Gambling Problem

Kelly says that while the incidence of problem gambling for adults 55+ is actually lower than the general population, Boomer gambling problems could have a far-reaching impact simply due to the sheer numbers in this cohort.

In fact, the Council estimates that by 2020 - if the incidence of problem gambling among adults 55+ remains consistent - close to 100,000 Ontario seniors and their families could be affected by gambling problems, an increase of 42% over today's number of almost 67,000 older adults with a gambling problem.

Terry Finn, Chair, Responsible Gambling Council knows how devastating a gambling problem can be. "When you have most of your work life ahead of you, you're more likely to recover from the loss. I know from firsthand experience, at 49 or 59, recouping your life savings just got a lot harder. When you are 60 and older, the challenge is even greater," says Finn.

What Boomers Need to Know

In focus groups held across Ontario, RGC talked to older adults and their families who had firsthand experience of a gambling problem. They had five gambling realities that Boomers need to know about now to avoid a problem in the future:

Understand the risks: When you're going through a life transition, like retirement, it's easy to lose your bearings or feel out of place and gambling can fill a void. Be aware of how much time you spend gambling and know that the more frequently you gamble, the greater the risk of developing a problem.

Plan ahead: Take advantage of the extra time that comes with retirement: plan activities, hobbies or small business ideas or whatever route you choose to keep life active and interesting.

If you choose to gamble, keep it low-risk: No matter what age you are, the principles of safe gambling are always the same. Here are some examples: set limits and stick to them, don't gamble when you are upset, stressed or depressed, only use money you can afford to lose and don't borrow money to gamble.

Keep your life balanced with different activities: Don't look at gambling as your only source of entertainment.

Take stock of your gambling: Every once in a while, give yourself a gambling reality check to make sure you aren't gambling in a high-risk way.

For more information, resources and for a full schedule of Within Limits: Problem Gambling Prevention Month activities and events, please visit www.responsiblegambling.org.

Focusing Community Attention

Within Limits: Problem Gambling Prevention Month is an awareness program designed to provide people who choose to gamble with information to make informed decisions. Within Limits focuses community attention on: the risks of problem gambling, ways to limit those risks, realistic expectations of winning and losing and where to get help if you have a problem.

Responsible Gambling Council

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to problem gambling prevention. RGC designs and delivers highly effective awareness programs. Through the RGC Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices, the Council also promotes the identification and adoption of best practices in problem gambling prevention.

To view the videos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa95sFM6nzc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_9zawhHM7E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mMFpcCO9k8

Contact Information

  • To coordinate interviews, please contact:
    Strategic Objectives
    David Weinstein
    (416) 366-7735 or Toll Free: 1-866-366-7733
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)
    or
    Strategic Objectives
    Meghan Rose
    (416) 366-7735 or Toll Free: 1-866-366-7733
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)
    Email: mrose@strategicobjectives.com
    or
    Strategic Objectives
    Debra Quinn
    (416) 366-7735 or Toll Free: 1-866-366-7733
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)
    Email: dquinn@strategicobjectives.com