More Steps Needed To Protect Gamblers

Later this year, a major study related to all forms of gambling will be revealed by the Alberta Gaming Research Institute at the University of Lethbridge.

Robert Williams, Co-ordinator of the institute, has recommended that before providing 6,000 new gambling machines, it needs to be ensured that effective consumer protection measures are put in place. The measures could be thumb identification or the commonly used iris scanning.

Williams stressed that adoption these kind of measures will significantly reduce the number of gambling addicts in Alberta, and even across Canada if these are adopted in all parts of the country.

Alberta's liquor and gambling authority has announced plans to spend millions of dollars in replacing ageing VLTs at the cost of $30,000 per machine. The authority is also inviting expressions of interest from various parties to bid for the tender.

Williams has other recommendations for the authority that include allowing machines to take smaller bets. He feels that it will ensure that people are not encouraged to gamble big amounts. He stressed that a lot of protection is offered to people in European countries and these should also be offered in Canada.

Experts also feel that a system should be put in place which ensures that it is not easy for people to become addicted to gambling.