The Kings Community Action Group on Gambling’s (KCAGoG) purpose is to raise awareness of harms gambling causes in Kings County, and to influence the future of gambling in Kings County. We are not an anti-gambling organization. We want to reduce the harms that current policies create, and help people make informed decisions of how they use gambling for recreation. See About Us for more info.
Gambling is the invisible addiction. It is much easier to understand how someone could be addicted to tobacco or to alcohol than to a Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) machine or to a scratch-and-win ticket. Gambling addiction is real and so are its consequences1.
David Fairfax, a Safety Officer with the RCMP interviewed in 2012 said that the RCMP don’t see a lot of harms in this community. People who have gambled away their paycheques don’t come to the police. And the RCMP doesn’t get called for drinking and gambling like they would for drinking and driving, so they are missing the bulk of what’s happening. He added, “The problem is silent.”
Even some public figures in Nova Scotia have been so addicted to gambling, they have taken public funding to support their addiction. The gambling connection is rarely mentioned in the press reports.
The problem is silent but the harms are not. The vulnerable of our society: the poor, the mentally ill, people dealing with other addictions, seniors and youth are affected the most. Their families and friends, and the whole wider community, also feel the effects of their addictions.
adapted from the Report on The Community Dialogues on Gambling October, 2012 by Audrey Shields and Heather Frenette
Some Facts at Your Fingertips
(See the “Know the Facts” section of our site for more details.)
- About 1,872 people in Kings County are experiencing significant harm because of their gambling.
- According to a 2007 Prevalence Study2, more than 4, 967 residents in the Annapolis Valley are gambling at some level of risk.
- Gambling harm is most damaging to the disadvantaged people in our county: the poor, senior citizens, youth, people dealing with other addictions and people with mental health problems5.
- But like the ripple effect of a pebble thrown into a pond, gambling harm affects everyone in our community. It is estimated that for every gambler, ten others in his or her life are affected.
- And every citizen in the county pays more taxes to cover the costs to social services, justice, health, mental health and addictions services – way more costs than the government receives in gambling revenues3.
- About $4 million leaves Kings County every year from VLT revenues going to the province4. Imagine the economic impact for local business if there was that much extra money spent in the county each year!
1. Research shows that the neurochemical changes that occur in the brains of gambling addicts are the same as in people who are addicted to substances (for further information, see Sunderworth & Milkman , “Behavioral and neurochemical commonalities in addiction” in Contemporary Family Therapy, Vol. 13, #5).
3. Costs and Benefits of Gaming: A Literature Review with Emphasis on NS (GPI Atlantic, 2004) (PDF)
4. Information received by email on request from the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation (NSPLCC) for 2012.
[Note: their name was “Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation (NSGC)” at that time.]