Anti-slot machine expansion stance appreciated

Writer thanks Terrace, BC city council for voting against adding slots

Dear Sir:

When I read the local Chances Terrace gaming centre wasn’t so lucky with Terrace city council I couldn’t have been happier.

I do know personally the effects of problem gambling and I was disheartened to read that there were people who attended the public forum only to speak in favour of increasing the number of slot machines.

I have been to the casino and have seen the many faces there.

I have always wondered who speaks on behalf of the problem gambler?

Government receives ten percent of gaming revenue and this is what has been reported by their site since opening January 2009. Ten per cent equals $1,845,448.39. The first quarter of 2012/13 has the government reporting 10 per cent gaming revenue at $311,443.98.

Over the years there have been many reports available to the public on the cost to the communities in which the casinos reside.

Casinos not only cause financial stress and hardship to the problem gambler but they also causes stress to the community.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that “problem gambling is overwhelmingly a hidden disorder; people with gambling problems will go to great efforts to hide their problem from others. Unlike other addictions, such as problematic drug abuse, problem gambling has no physical signs, making it much more difficult to detect. Often, a sudden and serious financial crisis is the first indication of a gambling problem within the family.”

The B.C. Coroners Service noted a total of 34 gambling-related suicides between 2003 and 2010. In 2010, there were 10 such cases, more than double the number recorded the year before.

Being so close to the Christmas season, I would like to again say thank you for caring, City of Terrace.

Mary-Ann Speirs, Terrace, BC