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Heritage Village, Vineland, Ontario

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 Heritage Village is within a 30 minute drive to Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, the largest and most elegant gaming facility in Canada.  Nearby is the older, less pretentious Casino Niagara, opened as a temporary facility in 1996, but  still fleecing the public today. Casino Niagara has 1,700 slot machines and 60 tables, while Fallsview boasts 3,000 slots and 150 tables waiting for your money. Fallsview also has: the 1500 seat Avalon concert hall, a 374 room hotel, the Galleria shopping mall and much more.  Both casinos use gift certificates and points rewards towardsbuffet meals and parking to draw in seniors.

The Fallsview, a $1 billion government investment in greed, overlooks the Horseshoe Falls and  is a financial success but an ecological disaster. It blocks the former wind patterns that kept the falls mist from spilling over the river banks, causing a permanent fog that drenches tourists on foot.  This creates rainforest conditions in the park that kills the trees  in summer, and causes ice damage in winter.  These are just some of the unintended consequences of our government entering the world of vice, having replaced organized crime of a previous era. 

Run by the Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLG), a “Crown agency”, the gaming industry now generates $3.8 billion per year, of which only  2.8% goes to charity (Trillium Foundation) and a mere 1.2% addresses the issue of problem gamblers. A significant portion of the revenue comes from seniors, for whom the sedentary activity of gaming, is a break from boredom and loneliness.  The profits of OLG flow back to seniors by way of the funding of hospitals and health care (47.3%).

For political optics the OLC funds academic studies, websites and "hotlines"  on responsible gambling, but still sends addicts their casino promotions. In 2004, at Toronto Metro Hall, a public forum was held by the Older Persons' Mental Health and Addictions Network of Ontario (OPMHAN) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to address why gambling is alluring to seniors, addiction gambling and where seniors can turn to for help. 

 

Gambling Advice for new Players

Go for fun, but plan to lose. Take advantage of their gift certificates, then outsmart them by your will power:Lose no more than the value of the “gifts”.

The best odds are the poker machines ("Deuces Wild "or "Jacks or Better"). You can play for a longer time on your cash.

Don’t be fooled by the penny slots. Modern machines lure you into multiple lines and bets.  Playing 40 lines, 10 bets per line is a $4.00 machine, not a penny machine.  Try 5 lines x 1 penny. Beware of  Maximum  right beside the Repeat  button.

The longer you play slots, the more you lose: the "random" odds favour the House.  If you have doubled your money or better, it is time to call it quits, before the math swings against you again. 

The risk of addiction is lower among seniors than young adults, but the consequences can be more devastating:  health problems from long hours of fixated gambling, and financial ruin with no prospects for recovery. Some 2.2% of Ontario seniors 60+ are ruining their lives with excessive gambling.  For the majority, however, it is all great fun. 

 NiagaraFallsview    Further Reading    casino.niagara

Ontario HOTLINE  1-888-230-3505  

http://www.responsiblegambling.org/en/index.cfm

http://knowyourlimit.ca/myths-about-gambling.html 

 

GAGamblers Anonymous

 

 

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