Young Educated Males are More Prone to Problem Gambling, Says Expert

After the legalization of single-event wagering in Canada, more and more gambling and addiction specialists are worried about a possible negative impact on bettors. One of the concerned experts is Shauna Altrogge, the director of the Gambling Awareness Program with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Saskatchewan division has warned that young and highly-educated males are much more vulnerable to problem gambling conditions.

Last August the federal government of Canada decriminalized betting on individual sporting events, which was a heavily anticipated change. On top of that, Ontario, which is the most populous province in the country, introduced its own private online sports betting market for private operators. Thus, enabling ever greater betting options and even greater risk for gamblers.

Younger Demographics are at Greater Risk

Ms. Altrogge has given some explanation as to why young and highly-educated males are much more at risk than the average bettor. In her words, anyone who has a solid knowledge base and skill in sports may feel like they know more than the average person. She continues by saying that these people will place their bets as they believe that they have some pretty solid chances, which is a concern.

Shelley White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council, indicated that sports betting has a specific risk to it, as players have the illusion of control. Another factor is that many bettors tend to drink alcohol or use substances when wagering, which also clouds their judgment. In addition to that, the betting option is popular among younger demographics as they are more likely to take risks.

Dom Luszczyszyn, an NHL expert, who provides daily picks, odds, win probabilities, and betting advice, has created his own model for wagering. Mr. Luszczyszyn explained even he had some terrible spells last year when it comes to sports betting. He admits that at one point he did not how to stop, and he believed that it will eventually get better.

Jasmin Brown, a Saskatoon-based partner and licensed insolvency trustee with BDO Debt Solutions, commented that gambling-related bankruptcy applications are still a rarity to see. She said the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act specifically addresses cases where the cause of bankruptcy has been brought on by gambling, and in such cases, a discharge from bankruptcy can be refused, suspended, or granted.

Unhappy with Sports Betting’s Normalization

Dr. David Hodgins, Director of the University of Calgary’s Addictive Behaviors Lab, has also recently spoken on the topic of problem gambling and its impact on the youth. He commented that the normalization of sport wagering could harm the young and impressionable minds, as due to the heavy marketing, the younger demographic may conclude that sports betting is something quite common and normal.

With the opening of Ontario’s iGaming and sports betting market, Alberta has reminded its bettors that sports wagering ads are illegal in the province. Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Corporation, is concerned that after the legalization viewers are heavily exposed to flashy sports betting ads featuring celebrities that promote the new online platforms.

Source: “Sports gambling has victims — and they are typically highly-educated young men”, Yahoo, June 23, 2022

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.