Review of the Problem-Gambling and Responsible-Gaming Strategy of the Government of Ontario
The Government of Ontario has decided to review the problem-gambling and responsible-gaming strategy in the Province. With the maturing of the gaming industry in Ontario and the changing environment in which gambling can be conducted, it is important to undertake an overall assessment of the gaming industry. An important objective is to ensure that gaming is offered in a responsible manner and that those with gambling problems and those at risk of developing such problems are well provided for.
The two Ministries that are most directly involved in the problem gambling and responsible-gaming strategy are the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT). The MOHLTC is responsible for the implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Treatment, Prevention and Research of problem gambling. The MEDT is responsible for gaming policy, the administration of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act and the identification of funding for the problem-gambling strategy. The Government believes that by undertaking a review of both components and the Ministries' respective roles and responsibilities, Ontario will be well positioned to move forward.
Ontario's problem-gambling Strategy has been in existence since 1996. Since 1999, it has been funded by a formula of 2 per cent of gross slot machine revenue from charity casinos and slots at racetracks. The Strategy has a three-pronged approach consisting of treatment, prevention/awareness and research. After eight years of operation, the annual financial allocation for the Strategy has increased from $1M to over $36M, together with a multi-faceted strategy that involves many service providers and initiatives. The Government has now decided that an overall review that combines a review of the problem gambling and responsible-gaming Strategy is timely.
This study is designed to provide the Government with advice on problem gambling and responsible gaming. Its Terms of Reference include the following?
- To identify and describe the current structure, role, funding arrangement and programs of the partners, stakeholders, operators and administrative agencies in the area of problem gambling and responsible gaming in Ontario;
- To conduct an inter-jurisdictional review of what other selected jurisdictions are doing, including the identification of evidencebased practices and the resources available to them and resource allocation among the various components of the Strategy;
- To assess the existing problem-gambling Strategy and responsible gaming in Ontario and the funding levels from all sources available;
- To identify, where possible, the results achievable through the components of the current Strategy in Ontario including an assessment of value for money; and
- To recommend the future roles of the partners, stakeholders, operators, transfer payment agencies and Ministries in the delivery of the problem-gambling and responsible-gaming Strategy and the programs associated with it.