For most people gambling is something that they enjoy doing once in a while. People play lotteries and bingos, go to casinos, or bet on horse races and sporting events. Proceeds from gambling are used to fund charities, non-profit agencies, and community programs.
Below are some questions and answers about gambling.
Legalized gambling comes in many forms in Alberta. They include casinos, racetracks, video lottery terminals (VLTs), bingo, Sport Select, and lotteries. These types of gambling are legal because they’re managed by the government or by regulations set by the government.
Illegal gambling is gambling that happens outside of these regulations. Placing a bet with a bookie (someone who accepts large bets from different people) on a professional sporting event is an example.
About 2 out of 3 teenagers gamble. Teens usually gamble through bets with friends on card games, pool games, or pro sports. Teens aged 18 and older are allowed to play VLTs, gamble in casinos, and buy lottery tickets.
Most people gamble responsibly. But for some people, gambling can be a lot like an addictive drug—and it can become a problem. Problem gamblers often have trouble with money, stress, and family or relationship problems. They may often feel guilty and out of control because of their losses. Problem gamblers may also get into trouble like gambling until all of their money is gone, owing money to family and friends, and going into debt to pay for their gambling. This kind of trouble can cause stress, fear, pain, and embarrassment for the people involved.
For more information and to find an addiction services office near you, please call the
24-hour Help Line.
Current as of: March 2, 2017
Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services