Based on our accumulated experiences as regular players of these machines, the large amount of research and studies we gathered from all over the world, some of which is listed on this website, and the many addicted players who have shared their stories with us, we believe that anyone who plays Vlts and Slot machines as they were intended to be played, which is on a regular basis, will become addicted, no matter who they are, the extent of their education, if they’re rich or poor or if they have, or don’t have, a predisposition to an addictive behavior. Without regular players, the gambling business in our provinces would not be sustainable.
We also believe that the reason regular players of Vts and slot machines become addicted is because their behavior is unknowingly being altered into one of addicts by the programs hidden inside these machines each time they play. Once addicted, most players are not able to quit playing the machines, no matter how sincerely and diligently they try, even after going for private counselling or attending gambling treatment programs several times. Based on our own experiences, the reason these programs don’t work (most of which are funded by the money lost by the addicted players) for Vlt and slot machine addicts is because they are not told the truth about their addiction.
Therefore, the 'addicted players' continue to play the machines incessantly until they lose everything, including their family, friends, jobs and even their dignity. They live with constant depression while desperately trying to cope with the reality of how much money they lost or the shameful things they’ve done to feed their addiction. Eventually their overwhelming shame, guilt and secrets convince them that the only way to end their addiction, or to prevent their loved ones from finding out about it, or to protect their families from further losses, is to kill themselves. These players go to their death bed believing they had a disease that couldn’t be cured, or they were too weak, too stupid or not faithful enough to quit playing the machines. They had no way of knowing that it was not them who were sick but rather the machines that were making them sick.
According to the 2011 study funded by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and titled Gambling in Alberta: History, Current Status and Socioeconomic Impacts:
* there was about 73,000 problem gamblers in Alberta (p.176). That's almost as many people in our province who have cancer (80,000). Other studies report that approximately 10 to 15 people are affected by each problem gambler. Also, a generation of problem gamblers averages 5 years which, since 1994 equals to 5 generations - that’s over 350,000 people in Alberta alone.
* 77% of VLT profits, and 72% of Slot machine profits in Alberta came from ‘problem gamblers’ (p. 110), or who we call ‘addicted players’
* and roughly 46-55 problem gamblers in Alberta commit suicide each year (p.279), which means roughly 1000 suicides, in Alberta only, since gambling machines were brought into our communities. (These totals don't include the attempted suicides or the people who live with constant anxiety and depression, nor the tens of thousands of lives and families that are destroyed each year because of these machines.)
In Canada, everyone benefits from the massive amount of money the 'addicted players' lose in Vlts and Slot machines each and every day, which averages to 75% in Alberta, including each citizen, most charity groups and the owners and operators of bars and casinos. There is no incentive to warn the players about the highly addictive and destructive properties of this fundraising method, nor is there for people to inform themselves about why the percentage of players who become addicted is so alarmingly high. After all, if your business makes over a BILLION dollars of gross profit each year, and about 75% of those profits is derived from customers who are addicted to the product you sell, what incentive is there to make changes to your product?
There is also no incentive whatsoever for the CEO, board members and the employees of our government’s gambling departments, or the counselors of their treatment programs or the members of their research teams, to warn the players or to tell the ‘addicted players’ the truth about their addiction because without those players, most if not all of these jobs would be obsolete. This alone is a classic example of the fox guarding the chicken coop.
Check out EGMS's unique and effective program designed to help the Vlt and Slot machine players who have become addicted here.