Statistics Canada estimates that problem gamblers make up 0.6% of the Canadian population. Last year in Ontario over 40,000 people filed a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, so statistically less than 250 people who went bankrupt in Ontario were problem gamblers.
Based on data from our own database of bankruptcies and proposals we have filed, approximately 1.6% of all filers stated that gambling was one of the causes of their financial difficulties. If our database is an accurate reflection of the entire province, that would mean that over 600 people who went bankrupt in Ontario last year were problem gamblers.
Of course statistics never tell the entire story. For many people gambling is only a minor issue, and therefore may not appear in the numbers. For others, after a job loss or the loss of a spouse gambling becomes a means of stress relief, and thus problem is a symptom of a problem, rather than the problem itself.
Based on my experience, for some gambling is a problem, and it can impact on all areas of life. If you, or someone you know, has a gambling problem, I urge you to get help by contacting the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-888-230-3505, or by visiting resources such as the Responsible Gambling Council and Directory of Problem Gambling Services in Ontario.
If you have more debts than you can handle as a result of gambling, we urge you to contact a trustee for information on options available to deal with your debts.