The British Columbian government has announced that they have conducted a study which shows that problem gambling is down in the Western Canadian province.
The study was conducted last year and saw 3,058 people interviewed, and estimated that 3.3% of the province's population has a gambling problem, down sharply from the same study in 2008, which revealed a 4.6% problem rate.
Younger people in the province are less likely to gamble, but have a higher risk of becoming problem gamblers, as 18.4% fit that demographic.
As a result of the study, the British Columbian government says that it will push harder to address the risks of gambling among younger residents, and will invest in responsible gambling and problem gambling programs. Additionally, the University of British Columbia Center for Gambling Research will receive $2 million to further study the issue and monitor results of the program.
Commenting on the matter BC Health Minister Terry Lake said, “The research commitments in this plan will shed new light on the health impacts of electronic gaming machines, on-line gambling and the connection between problem gambling, substance abuse and mental health. We can use that information to improve our prevention and treatment programs.”