Monday, April 22, 2024

Concern About Gambling


There are quite a large and growing number of legal products and services that can, if used appropriately, be forms of relaxation and entertainment.

All of these can also be addictive and dangerous if used excessively. I have a major concern that the most recent of these services are growing in an out-of-control fashion due to rampant targeted advertising.

While watching various channels on television, I noticed that there are no ads whatever for tobacco, vaping products or cannabis. Such ads would be illegal.

There very few ads for spirits, wine or beer, far less than there used to be.

There are, however, incessant ads for government lotteries, online “casinos” and sports betting.

These ads definitely target individuals who have more than a casual interest in betting. They are aimed at the vulnerable elements of our society who believe ridiculous claims of “easy” winning.

Gambling addiction has become just as much of a problem as alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Our government itself, through OLG “oversight”, has been a major part of the problem for decades, hustling false hope in lottery chances, regardless of the party in power.

Now, the legalized online “casinos” and sports books are using famous entertainers and athletes to shamelessly make these fools’ games attractive to the young, the foolish, and the less-than-affluent members of our society.

A recent episode of “The Fifth Estate” did a good job of exposing this damaging practice, but it will be unlikely to change anything in the short term.

Mike Robertson, Meaford


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