Cases of Gambling Addiction and Police Activity

Gambling refers to the act of betting, placing bets, or paying money for the chance to win something. Gambling is basically the wagering of something of worth or value on an uncertain event with an uncertain result, with the purpose of winning either money or other material products. The chances of winning can be estimated by the form of betting, for example, the likelihood of hitting the jackpot is estimated by the amount of bets made or the number of tickets bought. Gambling therefore needs three essential ingredients to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward. Although it may not seem that these ingredients are that important in gambling, the reality is that all of them combine to create the game of gambling.


Gambling in Canada can be categorized into two general types: gaming events and lottery. Gaming events refer to those which are organized by Canadian government bodies like the Canadian Lottery Corporation (CLC) and the Canadian Lottery Corp of Malta (CLM). The main objective of these bodies is to “incentivize” people to participate in the lotto and gaming events. They also aim to maintain the integrity and credibility of the lotto and gaming system.

On the other hand, the lottery is played by many people across the country. The lottery system allows many people to “win” a small prize by investing small amounts of money into specific drawings. This system has also been associated with the “purse of wealth” in many cultures. One could say that the lottery system is one of the oldest gambling devices known to man.

In Canada, there are presently two main gambling jurisdictions, namely the Maricopa County in Arizona and the municipalities of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Both of these jurisdictions experienced a sharp increase in reported cases of gambling activities in recent years. Although there is no clear evidence of an increase in gambling revenues in these jurisdictions, it is worth noting that the majority of Canadian residents live in these jurisdictions. It should be noted that the cases of law violations and related criminal charges in these jurisdictions are typically related to the operation of bingo and poker games rather than conventional gambling.

According to studies, there appears to be a relationship between crime rates and the location of establishments that offer gaming and/or Internet gambling. It has been observed that persons who are involved in gambling addiction tend to have higher risk factors for committing crimes. Other possible reasons for this are higher risk of meeting other addicts, increased social status among such people, and exposure to higher risk environments. Thus, it appears that the persons involved in gambling addiction are at a higher risk for forming social ties that may facilitate addiction development.

A Canadian case law study has revealed that the presence of a second business in a gambling venue may be sufficient for invalidating a gambling claim. In the case of Bell v. Dickson, the court found that a Bell gambling operation that was established in a house rented by a tenant for the purpose of conducting Baccarat gaming did not meet the requirements for licensing. The result was that the Bell gambling operation was held to be the conduct of pure skill rather than gambling. However, in R. v. St-Onge, the court reversed the decision of the lower court which had previously awarded Bell its share of the gaming revenues. In the end, the lower court erred in holding that Bell’s Baccarat gaming operation did not qualify for either licensure or certification as a place of business.