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B.C.'s problem gamblers get little help at casinos, documents suggest

2 May 2007

BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada -- As reported by CBC News: "Distressed gamblers usually get little help when they appeal to staff at B.C. casinos — often no more than a brochure and phone number to call for further assistance, according to B.C. Lottery Corp. documents obtained by CBC News.

"The documents show staff at casinos in the province often have to deal with gamblers who are angry, emotional and losing all their money. Some of these people go to casinos several times a day, while others make repeated trips to bank machines for more cash as they try to recover their losses.

"There are even some gamblers who become so agitated and emotional that they wear adult diapers and even wet themselves, but keep playing.

"Yet 85 per cent of casino employees surveyed in 2004 said they believe the gamblers themselves are responsible for seeking help for their problems, according to one of the corporation's internal documents.

"...Tamara Ibbott, a spokeswoman for the corporation, said it encourages staff to tell problem gamblers about its so-called self-exclusion program..."

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