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BC Group Criticizes Slot Decision

25 November 2004

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – As reported by the Kamloops Daily News: "A member of the Kamloops Social Planning Council says he's disappointed city councillors approved 50 slot machines at a Halston Avenue bingo hall.

"Trevor Jensen said Wednesday his group — which reports to city council — had considered the issue and recommended against the machines going into Enterprise Entertainment. The main concerns were the social costs associated with gambling.

"…After listening to two hours of discussion Tuesday night on a rezoning application that would allow the slots, city council voted five to two in favour of bingo hall owners Pat and Gary Hart.

"Jensen said he wished city politicians had paid more attention to B.C. research that shows problem gamblers make up 4.6 per cent of those who wager, but contribute 25 to 30 per cent of money that goes into gambling.

"… "I'm just disappointed. They should have done the research a little better."

"…The Lottery Corp. will provide the Harts with information to be posted for problem gamblers. She said she already has a few bingo players who have banned themselves, not always because of money, but because of time spent playing.

"The social impact of gambling and the devastation it can have for some individuals was the main argument against the slots at this week's public hearing…"

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