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Price: $21.95

Paperback 240 pp.
6" x 9"



Publication date:
March 2012

Imprint: OUP Canada

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Problem Gambling in Canada

Lorne Tepperman and Kristy Wanner

Series : Issues in Canada

Gambling is a huge business in Canada, producing vast revenue for investors, as well as for the government. Yet for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, gambling is a costly and consuming addiction. The gambling industry, and the government regulators who oversee it, insist that gambling problems are isolated, personal issues that are best addressed on an individual level. However, new research paints a different picture: gambling is an addiction and a public health issue.

A short overview shows how many aspects of gambling have remained constant throughout history. More recently, however, the Internet has expanded the range of ways people can gamble, and has drawn many younger people into online betting. The book also evaluates the role social and cultural forces play in gambling, often glamorizing and encouraging risk-taking. As gambling increases, so do its associated problems; while it may appear harmless at first, gambling too often destroys lives.

Finally, a clear discussion of the economic interests involved in gambling reveals the full nature of the problem, exploring why people disagree about how - and how much - to regulate gambling.

Readership : This short, accessible introduction will be of interest to the general reader interested in how gambling is framed as a social and political issue. Students of sociology and social work will also look to this book for the latest Canadian research and data on the subject.


  • "This is [Tepperman's] third book on the subject, and the most comprehensive. It is a huge topic, and Tepperman and his co-author, Kristy Wanner, tackle many facets of it in some detail."

    --Winnipeg Free Press

  • "Problem Gambling in Canada gives a solid grounding on the subject with copious studies and statistics...provides a very thorough treatment of the prevalence of gambling."

    --The Interim

1. Gambling: Its Pleasures and Costs
2. Gambling in Historical Perspective: Canada and the World
3. The Voices of Problem Gamblers
4. The Gambling Career
5. Gambling and the Workplace
6. Sports Wagering
7. Internet Gamblin
8. Youth Gambling
9. Sources of Information on Gambling
10. The Great Gambling Debate
11. Unresolved Questions
Appendix: Prevention Programs in Canada

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Lorne Tepperman is a professor of sociology at University of Toronto. He is the author of Betting Their Lives: The Close Relations of Problem Gamblers (OUP, 2008), as well as many books on sociology in Canada.

Kristy Wanner is originally from Toronto. She recently finished her Ph.D. at University of Missouri and developed a nationally recognized gambling prevention program for university campuses.

Betting Their Lives - Edited by Lorne Tepperman
The Sense of Sociability - Lorne Tepperman
Child Poverty in Canada - Patrizia Albanese
Climate Change in Canada - Rodney White
Substance Abuse in Canada - Marilyn Herie and Wayne Skinner
Energy in Canada - Peter Sinclair
Racism in Canada - Vic Satzewich
Crime in Canada - Diane Crocker

Special Features

  • New approach. Rather than pathologizing gambling as an isolated problem, the authors focus on social influences and costs of gambling behaviour for individuals and society.
  • Recent trends. The book considers current "crazes" in gambling, such as Internet and sports betting, particularly among young people.
  • Accessibly written. Intended as a short introduction, the content offers valuable insight to readers outside the field.
  • Large-scale perspective. Looking at societal pressures (e.g., media, corporate interests), the authors take a systemic approach to the influences behind gambling addictions.
  • Historical overview. A chapter on the history of gambling among rich and poor provides a survey of this long-standing problem both in Canada and internationally.
  • Objectively framed. How and how much to regulate gambling is a contentious issue, considered here alongside the economic interests at stake.
  • Additional resources. An appendix of prevention programs in Canada provides information on prevention strategies that increase knowledge about gambling and offer risk-assessment tools.