Gambling is a harmless type of entertainment for many people, and that’s the way it should always be. However, if left unchecked, gambling can quickly turn dark – from an entertaining hobby to an addiction that’s hard to shake.

When such problems arise, Canada knows how to tackle them. As a centre of gambling excellence, Canada’s attitude towards gambling addiction has been touted as one of the best and healthiest in the world, and the country is setting an example for other countries to follow, in order to ensure the safety, health and happiness of its players.

In fact, a delegation of health officials from Japan recently travelled to a centre for problem gambling in Canada, to learn the best practices in the area of gambling addiction and mental health.

How Canada Treats Gambling Addiction

Canada flag icon The Canadian Centre for Problem Gambling and Digital Dependency at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare supports the health and well-being of the Windsor-Essex community, who have been affected by gambling.

It provides free and confidential professional treatment services to individuals, their family members and friends affected by gambling, gaming, and/or problematic internet use. The centre offers three components, which include outpatient treatment, education/prevention, and research.

The centre carries out research and educational sessions, which the Japanese delegation was able to attend and learn from.

They were able to learn about the variety of programmes the centre offers, which include residential programmes, individual counselling, group therapy, family workshops, and aftercares services.

There is also a programme specifically designed for individuals and families of adults over 55 years old.

Canada and Japan - Different Attitudes Towards Problem Gambling

However, the most important take-away for the delegation may have been the contrast in the attitudes towards gambling in the two respective countries.

The delegation reported that people undergoing treatment for gambling addiction in Canada are more willing to open up about previous traumatic experiences, which may have led them to develop this unhealthy coping mechanism.

Sharing information about unhappy past experiences is something relatively uncommon in Japan, and it needs to be taken into account when developing similar programmes in the country.

This information-sharing effort is part of the Japanese government’s efforts to establish a regulated casino industry, a move that has been described as long overdue. The country only started putting the necessary regulations into place in March of this year.

But if it aims to have a sustainable and healthy industry which is fair and fun for all, with safeguards for players for whom the game is no longer bringing them pleasure, Canada is the ideal country to learn from. encourages you to always play responsibly and to seek help at the first sign of a problem. For 24-hour crisis assistance, call the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (OPGH) on 1-888-230-3505.

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