CCSA Publishes New Gambling Awareness Guidelines
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CCSA Publishes New Gambling Awareness Guidelines

CCSA Publishes New Gambling Awareness Guidelines

Now that single event bets have been legal for a while, the CCSA is sharing new gambling awareness guidelines designed to keep punters safe from gambling-related harm. The Canadian Centre on Substance and Use and Addiction has released new guidelines intended to assist Canadians to diminish the gambling-related harm caused by the newly enhanced sports betting market.

The CCSA formed the guidelines after 5 years of research into how gambling impacts society. According to the recommendations of the CCSA, punters should only gamble 1% of their household income before tax. The CCS also recommends that people wager no more than 4 days every month and that gambling should be kept to 2 types of games or fewer to reduce the risk of addiction.

According to the addiction agency, punters in Canada are required to follow all 3 guidelines if they want to lower the risk of developing such gambling-related problems. According to CCSA, gambling has become a more accepted activity over the last few years. With the newly legalized single-event sports betting market, players, especially those at risk, need all the support they can get from the necessary authorities.

If unchecked, gambling activities have the potential to pose serious risks including financial hardships, conflicts within families and relationships, emotional and psychological distress, loss of work, as well as many other health issues. When the case is severe, gambling can even cause the loss of life. The guidelines that have been laid out by the CCSA were created specifically to lower the risk of such problems developing.

To come up with the guidelines, CCSA analyzed data from more than 60,000 individuals across 8 countries as well as data from more than 10,000 Canadians that took part in an online survey the organization hosted. CCSA also interviewed focus groups of individuals that gamble and made consultations with experts that specialize in harm reduction, problem gambling treatment, as well as other issues that stem from wagering.

Approximately 1-3% of Canadians struggle with a gambling problem. 1 in 4 Canadians says that they have family or close friends/colleagues that suffer from a gambling problem or have one themselves. Furthermore, individuals that have a close connection with gambling addicts also say that most have not sought assistance.  

Only a small portion, fewer than 1 in 4 people, say the problem gambler they know has successfully looked for assistance for their problem. That’s why these recommendations from CCSA are so important.  CCSA’s mission has always been to supply people with evidence-informed recommendations and advice on how they can enjoy their favorite pastime in a much safer way.

To assess the potential issues that arise from gambling, one only needs to look at the current debate that has been ongoing in one of the world’s most successful iGaming markets- the UK. Online gambling has been part of the UK’s culture since an act of parliament paved the way for the practice in 2005 and 2014. Today in the UK, punters have hundreds of sports betting sites that they can choose from, which explains why the sector generates approximately £5.7 billion in revenue every year from private companies and around £2.7 billion in taxes.

Despite the obvious advantage of generating such high tax receipts yearly, there have been calls for greater restrictions and regulations to be placed on operators. That’s why the gambling laws in the UK have been under review; a new gambling act is expected in 2022. Advocates of responsible gambling are asking the government to set new deposit and betting limits. 

There have also been requests to make affordability checks in these online betting sites stronger. Greater fines are also going to be instituted for operators that allow punters to rack up huge gambling debts by allowing customers to wager on £1,000s per day. Even though it is not yet clear how the laws will change moving forward, these reviews of gambling laws in the UK have been a long time coming.

The problems currently being experienced in the UK make a very interesting case study for the CCSA and lawmakers in the country. If Canada is to get single event betting right, then it must figure out a way to strike a balance between responsible gambling and the freedom of choice for punters to spend their time and money as they wish. Self-regulation has always been a good idea in theory, but operators who are in it to maximize profits find it a lot harder to enforce.

 

Canada is all set to become a billion-year sports wagering market

In the meantime, sports betting in Canada could not be any more popular. Since single event sports wagers went live on August 27th, operators have been generating steady revenue. Analysts say that the country could generate as much as $2.02 billion in combined revenue. With a 15% tax on the table, local governments could collect as much as $300M in taxes every year.

Analysts also state that more than 80% of the revenue generated will be made primarily by online sportsbook operators. Ontario is also set to be the crown jewel of the burgeoning sports betting empire. Now that single event betting is a reality, the provinces and territories will use the revenue collected to revive the economy, which has suffered greatly amid the ongoing pandemic.

Some of the funds generated from gambling will also greatly help to advance community projects and fund programs like healthcare or education. So far, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has been offering single event wagers through its PlayNow.com platform. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation debuted single event bets through its online betting platform Proline+.

 

Final Thoughts

Like the neighbors across the pond in the US, the Canadian sports betting market has now been decentralized thus leaving each province to adopt sports betting while creating their own regulatory frameworks. As the most prized market in the country, Ontario has been setting the tone and has even gone ahead and laid out regulations for its iGaming market, which will include private gaming operators.


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