An article from Canadian news sources that was recently published reports on yet another thoughtless crime, which is incredibly frustrating due to the ever-growing frequency of its type in the media. A couple in Canada have been charged with child abandonment as a result of leaving two young children in the cold as they played at a casino. It should go without saying that these children are in the custody of protective services and the situation could be a whole lot worse had the outside temperature been colder than what it was (close to freezing).
However, I can’t just chalk this up to bad parenting. While I absolutely do not condone neglectful parenting of any kind, there seems to be a less-discussed factor at play here. We often identify and address many addictions in society with the goal of helping the affected individuals to get back on track. This includes diagnosis and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. The issue then becomes how often were honestly talking about responsible gaming and gambling addiction. In Canada alone, the University of Calgary’s studies suggest that 3% of the population suffers from some sort of problematic gambling, which is very similar in number to the percentage that suffers from alcoholism.
The problem seems to lie in the opinion of researchers that a gambling addiction isn’t just cut-and-dry like so many other signs of dependent behavior. Any gambling problem can start out seemingly harmless if the individual only spends small amounts of money at a time. The real issue rears its ugly head as the allure of winning bigger payouts encourages the player to put down larger amounts of money at once, which exponentially increases the severity of financial loss. It goes without saying that the almost nefarious business practices of casino managers is focused on welcoming players back to their establishments, regardless of how it may be personally impacting that person’s life.
This leads to a bright spot in the gaming industry that is being utilized by online casinos who wish to address these problems. Many of the online casinos that are emerging on the market offer specific resources geared towards nipping the issue in the bud before it can ever spiral out of control. Spending limits, account locks, and cooldown time periods are some of the features being added by online casinos that aim to curb addictive behavior. Of course, this is not a fool-proof solution, but it is a good start to respond to a concerning epidemic. If other establishments follow suit, perhaps we can protect the lives of more players and their children. Then perhaps these horrible news stories will start to dwindle and disappear altogether.