Gambling is a huge business in Canada, producing vast revenue for investors, as well as for the government. Yet for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, gambling is a costly and consuming addiction. The gambling industry, and the government regulators who oversee it, insist that gambling problems are isolated, personal issues that are best addressed on an individual level. However, new research paints a different picture: gambling is an addiction and a public health issue.
A short overview shows how many aspects of gambling have remained constant throughout history. More recently, however, the Internet has expanded the range of ways people can gamble, and has drawn many younger people into online betting. The book also evaluates the role social and cultural forces play in gambling, often glamorizing and encouraging risk-taking. As gambling increases, so do its associated problems; while it may appear harmless at first, gambling too often destroys lives.
Finally, a clear discussion of the economic interests involved in gambling reveals the full nature of the problem, exploring why people disagree about how-and how much-to regulate gambling.