Gambling in Ontario

It has been almost 20 years since Ontario’s first casino opened. There are now 50 million visits a year to 27 casinos in Ontario, and the government brings in almost $2 billion a year from them.

Critics claim that about 30% of that money comes from problem gamblers, and another unknown percentage comes from the poor, who cannot afford the money lost.

The government of 1993 said we were losing that money to other countries, primarily the U.S. and we needed to keep it at home.

It looks like the next play by our government will be online gambling. Ontario has further embraced the lucrative siren call of online gambling and is expected to launch its own Internet gaming program sometime in 2012. It could mean an additional $400 million a year in revenue — the same amount currently being gambled by Ontarians on offshore websites. Keeping the money within the province’s borders was the lure that helped push the decision to legalize casinos in the early 90s.

What do you think of all this “legalized” gambling? Is it worth the cost of broken marriages, lost rent cheques, and even some suicides?

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Grandpa Richard

All inn
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zdenko Zivkovic

p.s. above article inspired by the Toronto Star