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Gambling addiction survey could mean better future services

FILE: Casino.
FILE: Casino. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

MONCTON, N.B. – People who deal with addiction services hope a new survey will help problem gamblers find the counselling they need.

Cal Maskery is the executive director of the Harvest House homeless shelter and says the shelter continues to receive people with gambling problems.

He says results from the survey could encourage people to seek help.

“I think people need to know they’re not alone because there’s a lot of people dealing with these issues,” he said.  “There’s a high to it for some and when they win a little bit and that winning is like a carrot and then they think they’re going to win some more so they’re always investing more to get that rush.”

The provincial government started the new study to assess problem gambling. It’s a random telephone survey that includes 2,800 adults from across the province.

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The health minister says the results could help manage the province’s addictions services.

Atlantic Lottery says it uses its own research to educate the public about the risks of problem gambling.

Kim Wilson is the Manager for Corporate and Social Responsibility.

“We do research with our players with our retailers to ensure that what we’re putting out is being seen as it resonating with them,” she said.”Our role is really education and information.”

But she says the new study could improve their services.

“Things like studies and research and working with our own research partners helps us evolve our programs and make them better.”

The results from the survey should be released next year.

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