Gambling needs awareness week

Kamloops Daily News
January 8, 2013 01:00 AM

Throw a dart at the calendar and it's likely to strike a special day or week that flags an event that is questionably deserving of attention, like World Sparrow Day or Screen Free Week.

But there are also important causes and campaigns noted with such proclamations, like one right now for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

There are so many myths about gambling that it's important to dispel the untruths, so people have a true grasp on what they're doing with their money.

For instance, many people believe the longer they play at one slot machine, the more likely it is to pay off for that individual, that some machines are luckier than others.

The reality is, the house advantage on slots is eight per cent, according to the B.C. Lottery Corporation, so statistically the odds are stacked against players. Computer programming ensures the outcome on each play is random, ensuring around 1,000 different results every second.

There is a one-in-four chance a person will win a prize on a scratch-and-win ticket, a one-in-37 likelihood a roulette spin will stop on someone's number and a one-in-4,165 chance of being dealt a full house in the first five poker hands.

Other than perhaps the top poker players, gambling is not a reliable way to earn money, it's simply a form of entertainment. Ultimately the more a gambler pays to play, the more that person is going to lose.

To help raise awareness about responsible gambling practices and provide information about supports and services, there will be a number of events in Kamloops this week.

Making its way around the community is a gambling myth-busting kiosk, which stopped at TRU on Monday, is at Save-On Foods today, will be at Northills Mall and the Blazers game Wednesday, and Aberdeen Mall on Thursday. On Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Desert Gardens, people can learn from experts about how various games work, responsible gambling tips and even speak to a counsellor.

Gambling is supposed to be about games but people can head down the wrong path when they're not informed.

Unlike some others, this is an awareness week with an important message worth paying attention to.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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