Preliminary gambling report

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 15:29 -- Iain Cook
TitlePreliminary gambling report
Publication TypeResearch
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsCree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay(CBHSSJB)

This report describes a fact-finding consultation on gambling carried out in a number of communities by Frances Couchees. The first draft was used to develop a proposal to obtain funding to carry out a research project on gambling. At the time Frances carried out this consultation, she was the secretary in the Public Health Department office in Montréal. Starting with a few questions to ask key people in some communities, the expectation was that she would perhaps talk with three or four people in each place. Instead, her simple fact-finding turned out to be a consultation with all the key people who have some involvement with gambling activities for various reasons in each of the communities she visited. She did this herself and it was the first project of this type she had ever attempted as well as the first long report she had ever written. 

This preliminary report is important because it is the first effort to begin to look at the complex activity of gambling in Eeyou Istchee. As Frances pointes out, gambling is not only enjoyed by most people in the communities, but it is the means used to finance a lot of activities involving sports, youth recreation, culture, and social assistance to people in need. The downside is that for a small percentage of people gambling has become a compulsive behaviour with serious consequences for themselves and their families. The challenge for the community leadership and health workers in the region is to keep the positive benefits from the community activities of gambling, to balance gambling and fund-raising with other community activities and to find ways to identify and help those people who are at risk of becoming pathological gamblers. This will only happen through informed discussion within the communities. Frances has done the region a great service by opening the debate. Thank you Frances.

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