Introduction

0074Nobody knows for certain how much money Canadians spend on games of chance each year, but to be sure, socially sanctioned/legal forms of gambling in Canada have been estimated to be worth some $20 – $27 BILLION annually. Moreover, these figures will likely increase quite substantially in the very near future, given the trend towards increased availability of gambling venues throughout many parts of the country (such as the notorious VLT’s: Video Lottery Terminals).

Despite some rather impressive research and programmatic undertakings in this area of study to date, there is still much to be learned about the negative consequences associated with gambling behaviour. The need for new knowledge, and an efficient and appropriate translation of same into programs and services which will assist problem gamblers and their significant others has never been greater!

The role of the Internet in this regard is really quite unique. Through the Net, new knowledge can be conveyed as a means of increasing societal consciousness as well as a mechanism for improved communication amongst researchers and programmers in the field. This is also an excellent way to assist and facilitate self-help groups with their pursuits. In this regard, the purpose of the Problem Gambling: A Canadian Perspective Website is to promote a better understanding of the current state of Internet resources regarding problem gambling. In addition, I will critique these resources with a view towards the Canadian experience.

This site has been constructed with the following audience in mind: professionals (including addictions, mental health and social service workers) who may be called upon to assist the problem gambler and/or their family, individuals who themselves are concerned about either their own gambling behaviour or that of a loved one, policy makers, educators and those involved with professional training at a post-secondary level.

Accordingly, at this site, (English language) Internet educational resources concerning issues of gambling prevalence, vulnerability, prevention and treatment will be explored and critiqued from a Canadian perspective (for translation of this location into several other languages, please link to either the Alta Vista Canada or Gist-In-Time sites and follow their instructions).

This resource collection has been prepared by me: Gerry Cooper Ed.D. (please take a moment to look at the “contact us” section wherein, I discuss some of my background and credentials for such an assignment). Essentially, the site was originally organized as a partial requirement of a course I took in late 1997 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto and as part of my Doctor of Education coursework. I have maintained this site since that time, for the benefit of those seeking information regarding problem gambling and associated issues. My apologies to those who might find ‘broken links': maintenance of such a website is an ongoing task, and one that I’m afraid, sometimes gets postponed in favour of more immediate life and work responsibilities. Still, I hope that your time spent here will be of some interest. Best regards, Gerry Cooper.