Time to Raise the Ante?

Toronto residents are banding together to stave off the charms of the glittering, gambling gambit (sorry) being splashed all over town.  And, Your Working Girl is happy to report, the grassroots action is picking up steam. (Not that she minds a dainty hand of blackjack now and then.  She doesn’t, but there’s no need to go overboard.)

Yet there was one name notably absent from No Casino Toronto’s full page ad in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star this weekend.

The Centre for Mental Health and Research, or CAM-H as we call it here in the Big Smoke, “one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health” has not signed on to the petition to oppose the building of a mega casino in the city.  Neither have any of the doctors associated with their Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario which boasts “the largest specialized gambling treatment program in Ontario.”

Pourquoi pas? asks Your Working Girl.  They themselves are the purveyor of some pretty alarming stats.   Did you know, for example, that:

  • Over 300,000 adults in Ontario have moderate to severe gambling problems
  • The rate among teens is more than double that of adults
  • One in 10 people report being negatively affected by someone else’s gambling
  • People with gambling problems are also more likely to be affected by mental health problems, especially substance-use disorders, mood disorders, ADHD and personality disorders.

To Your Working Girl that sounds like something you might like to get out in front of in a big way if you one of the world’s leading centres for mental health and addictions.

Perhaps they thought the one-pager they submitted to City Council last November was enough.  Perhaps they felt the concern expressed yesterday by Robert Murray, the manager of the Problem Gambling Project would do the trick. Perhaps they felt to clearly take a side on an issue of public importance is just way too messy.  Or perhaps Your Working Girl just doesn’t have any idea.  But she thinks its too bad.  She is concerned about those 300,000 adults and 600,000 teens with gambling problems having to line up to be served by the “one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health.”

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