Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


May 21, 2010

Failure of the province's self-exclusion program for problem gamblers


S. Simpson:
Governments have a responsibility to have effective programs in place to deal with addictions. Yesterday we heard about the failure of the voluntary self-exclusion program for people with gambling addictions. This is a program, as the government will know, that looks to exclude problem gamblers from casinos after they self-enrol.

We heard about Shannon, who registered for this program in 2008 and then proceeded to gamble away $40,000 in casinos, including $4,000 in one 18-hour stint. Her physician, Dr. Jennifer Melamed — an addictions expert, as well — has called the program a sham and has stated: "If you say you're going to keep them out, then keep them out. If you're saying it's a scam and a farce and it's not going to work, then tell the patients upfront."

My question is to the Health Minister. Will the Health Minister commit today to work with his colleague the Minister of Housing and Social Development to do a third-party assessment of the self-exclusion program and to fix the problems with the self-exclusion program?

 

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