HOSPITALS WHICH RUN LOTTERIES SHOULD PROTECT PROBLEM GAMBLERS, SAYS CMAJ EDITORIAL

Sep 04, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Hospitals that run fundraising lotteries should also take steps to protect players who are susceptible to problem gambling.  This is the argument by Canadian Medical Association Journal Editor-in-Chief Dr. John Fletcher.  He says doctors and hospitals have a responsibility to prevent harm.   But he points out that fundraising lotteries offering houses, cars and mega-dollar prizes have the potential to severely affect people with a gambling addiction.  Dr. Fletcher says in his editorial that it’s contradictory for legislation to ban hospitals from selling a legal, addictive product such as tobacco, while allowing them to actively promote lotteries.

An estimated four per cent of Canadian adults are thought to have a gambling problem.  Doctor Fletcher points out this small segment generates about 23 per cent of gambling revenue in the country.

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