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Letter: OLG tells us more about bank machines and gambling studies

Tuesday, May 27, 2014   by: Staff received the following message from Tony Bitonti, OLG's senior manager of media relations, in response to Bob Mihell's report from Monday: What OLG doesn't know about gamblers.

The report, which was the final story in a three-part series, quoted Paul Pellizzari, executive director of policy and social responsibility at OLG.

The comment "that OLG had done extensive research into its after hour operations and the availability of banking machines at its casinos, and concluded that they were not contributing to problem gambling" is not accurate.

OLG does not hold the position that these features do not contribute to risk.

In fact, we acknowledge that these aspects of gaming operations can contribute to risk for some players.

Again, I raised questions about the precise impacts that these features have on different types of problem gamblers, because the effects are not universal, and the diversity of impacts on players is not well understood.

The research that is available in these areas does not lead to simple or clear conclusions.

To clarify, OLG has participated in one research study on ATMs and risk to players.

We have also reviewed the available research on 24-hour operations. We are committed to working to mitigate the risks related to these features, and we are working on more policy development in these areas.  

We are seeking to understand how we can build on the work done to date on our RG program to improve our attempts to prevent and mitigate experiences of problem gamblers.

OLG has a good working relationship with CAMH as OLG worked with them on developing the RG training program for all our gaming staff (as Paul mentioned and  you noted in your articles).

But CAMH is independent and often takes a different position from OLG and we accept that.

Its all part of the collaboration between a mental health facility and a gaming operator.

Saying that, on the matter of the proportion of revenue derived from problem gamblers, Paul raised questions about the methodology of the 2004 Williams and Wood study, making points that are consistent with the authors own observations.  

This study is quoted repeatedly in the media but these references are never accompanied by a discussion around the effectiveness of that method, which is based on self-reports from gamblers.

Read Parts 1 and 2 of the series:

What makes gambling such a problem?

Something so addictive even governments can't resist

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
steve53000 5/27/2014 3:19:41 PM Report

that's why they charge a premium fer getting money out
Zing 5/27/2014 4:17:48 PM Report


Just get rid of the ATMs.
seen_your 5/27/2014 9:01:28 PM Report

More like get rid of banks altogether, my grandparents used to tell me they were useless. I know I am getting rid of all of my bank accounts, better to make investments with your money than to put it in a savings account. Put ten grand in a savings account after one year I got $57 from the interest. After banking fees, it came out to more like $37. Investments are risky, but given inflation which devalues our money, and the ridiculously low interest they are currently given people in savings accounts, I have come to the conclusion that the bank is no longer interested in helping people save money, they are more interested in making money. I can't blame them for that but I won't bother dealing with them either.
Wisenheimer 5/28/2014 8:16:31 AM Report

Put your money in bank stocks .. TD, RBC, BNS, NA, and this morning BMO, all reporting great earnings and stellar dividends. CIBC will be next to out perform.
Turn your frown upside down!
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