Do you wear diapers to the casino? Experts say you might have a gambling problem.

wiggles

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Diapers in casinos a troubling symbol of problem gambling , says researcher

Thu May 10, 1:19 PM

By Dirk Meissner

VICTORIA (CP) - The diapers hold nine cups of fluid, are made of six layers of cotton and micro-fibre, dry in an hour, are reusable and come stylishly in white or burgundy with Velcro closures.

A company in Kitchener, Ont., is advertising them on the Internet for $35 each - two for $60 - and say they are a perfect fit for "gamblers at all-night casinos," among other people. It alarms Prof. Tim Pelton, of the University of Victoria's Centres for Addiction Research.

"That's very troubling that there are people like that who are struggling that much," he said.

Pelton is working at trying to measure problem gambling among Canadian youth and he took particular notice of a survey conducted by the B.C. Lottery Corp. and released recently through an Access to Information request.

The survey of casino workers found many workers polled said they regularly see problem gambling up close, including people wearing diapers so they don't have to leave the machines to use the washroom.

Many of the employees who responded to the survey three years ago admitted to being uncomfortable with what they saw.

Paul Smith, the lottery corporation's director of public affairs and corporate social responsibility, said the organization is constantly attempting to give its employees more tools to spot and potentially help problem gamblers.

But he added: "We're not really interested in having card dealers become problem-gambling counsellors, but the protocol in the casinos is if they spot problem behaviour they alert a supervisor or a floor manager or someone senior."

"They will then interact with the patron, hopefully encourage them to take some time out and talk about some of the behaviours they are seeing and hopefully guide them into a discussion about problem gambling."

It's not like a bartender who almost always knows when a customer has had too much to drink and must be cut off, said Smith.

Identifying a problem gambler is a subjective exercise as some of the behaviours associated with problem gambling could also be related to other behaviours, some as common as disputes with a spouse or other patron, he said.

"We think a lot of our approach at the casino level is all about making sure that the player is well-informed, that they understand what are the things that I can do to gambling responsibly, like setting a budget and putting a time-limit on your self," he said.

Pelton said finding out what triggers problem gambling is a relatively new area of research, but it deserves more attention because gambling isn't going away as governments can't seem to resist the lure of the gambling dollars that fill their revenue coffers.

The B.C. government reported revenues of more than $980 million last year from the Crown-owned B.C. Lottery Corp.

"We just don't know enough about it (problem gambling)," said Pelton.

"That's the main problem. We're enjoying the fruits of the system that makes money for the government, but we haven't necessarily pondered or reflected upon or done research on the impacts to society."

People who wear diapers to casinos are not increasing their chances of winning, he said, and it indicates their level of delusion about playing the machines.

"Those machines are entirely random in their behaviours."

A spokesman with B.C.'s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch said the numbers of addictions counsellors are increasing and so are the budgets.

The government is increasing the number of addictions counsellors this year to 37 from 31. The counselling budget is rising to $7 million next year from $4 million this year.

The budget will be $8 million in 2008-2009.

There are currently two people in the province who have the right to conduct direct interventions with problem gamblers at B.C. casinos, the spokesman said. The number is set to grow to seven in July.

The government's goal is to have one direct intervention counsellor in every casino in the near future, the spokesman said.

There are 17 casinos in British Columbia.

Smith said recent surveys indicate B.C. casino employees are more attuned to spotting potential problem gamblers and are more comfortable with offering them help.

He would not directly discuss the issue of people wearing diapers into casinos other than say it is a scenario that has been mentioned in at least one employee questionnaire.
 

Bullypulpit

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I don't wear just any diaper, I wear Astro-nappies! I also carry a large knife, rubber tubing, duct tape, and plastic bags in my car too! ;)
 
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wiggles

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I don't wear just any diaper, I wear Astro-nappies! I also carry a large knife, rubber tubing, duct tape, and plastic bags in my care too! ;)
C'mon, sevens! Daddy needs to win back his kids' college tuition!
 

Truthmatters

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I live in vegas and there are tons of people here who I think are nuts for how much they gamble.

I have realitives come and just crack up at how much time they want to spend at the casinos.

It really sad how many locals spend hundereds of dollars a month on this pass time.

I spend probably a total of 100 a year on gambling and If I did not have to take realitves it would be 0.
 
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Shattered

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If you're wearing diapers to a casino, you've got more than just a fuckin gambling problem. Seek help.
 
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Shattered

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I live in vegas and there are tons of people here who I think are nuts for how much they gamble.

I have realitives come and just crack up at how much time they want to spend at the casinos.

It really sad how many locals spend hundereds of dollars a month on this pass time.

I spend probably a total of 100 a year on gambling and If I did not have to take realitves it would be 0.
Gambling is actually fun, if you're smart about it.. Just don't gamble anything you're not willing to lose..
 

RetiredGySgt

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Sound advice, unfortunately addicts can't follow that advice. However, it is not my problem nor is it the Governments job to prevent people from spending money anyway they chose that is legal.

If they can not pay their bills to bad for them.
 
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wiggles

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Sound advice, unfortunately addicts can't follow that advice. However, it is not my problem nor is it the Governments job to prevent people from spending money anyway they chose that is legal.

If they can not pay their bills to bad for them.
On the flip side of that argument, left unchecked it can worsen the homelessness situation, which costs the government and taxpayers money and is a blight on society. If prevention is cheaper, I'd rather go that way.
 

RetiredGySgt

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Well hell, I am sure if we just let the Government keep all our money and give us an allowance with strict rules on what and where we can spend it, things would be more organized and no more homeless, right?
 
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wiggles

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Well hell, I am sure if we just let the Government keep all our money and give us an allowance with strict rules on what and where we can spend it, things would be more organized and no more homeless, right?
If preventing homelessness by addressing gambling addictionis more cost-effective than just letting the problem go, I don't see what the problem is.
The alternative is more smelly homeless people wandering the streets panhandling, pestering, and mugging people.
 

RetiredGySgt

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Ohh I don't know, freedom of choice, freedom to legally spend your money when and where you want. all those pesky Freedoms... I know lets just get rid of them, for the good of the people of course.
 
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If preventing homelessness by addressing gambling addictionis more cost-effective than just letting the problem go, I don't see what the problem is.
The alternative is more smelly homeless people wandering the streets panhandling, pestering, and mugging people.
*shrug* We COULD just burn the those homeless for fuel...
 
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For the record, Wiggles.. I wouldn't actually burn the homeless for fuel.. But, I did manage to get the same shock out of you that you'd get out of me every time you tell me where MY money should go. I purposely make enough money to pay for my house, car, utilities, food, clothing, vet bills, etc. and have enough left over to do the things I WANT to do, and have the things I WANT to have after busting my ass to pay the bills.

Yes, I'm a greedy bitch, but I earned the right to be so.
 
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wiggles

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For the record, Wiggles.. I wouldn't actually burn the homeless for fuel.. But, I did manage to get the same shock out of you that you'd get out of me every time you tell me where MY money should go. I purposely make enough money to pay for my house, car, utilities, food, clothing, vet bills, etc. and have enough left over to do the things I WANT to do, and have the things I WANT to have after busting my ass to pay the bills.

Yes, I'm a greedy bitch, but I earned the right to be so.
Oh I knew you weren't serious.
Anyway, my point was saving tax dollars already in the coffers with an ounce of prevention rather than spending more on a pound of cure. I don't see where I was dictating where any individual can spend his/her money but whatever.
 

Psychoblues

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Seriously, folks, I did a stint in the casinos of Tunica, Mississippi. There are more people than you know about that are from homeless to very wealthy that will piss and even shit upon themselves rather than leave a machine or a table that they consider "hot" at the time.

It's not a joke and the gaming administrators choose to ignore it. I could go on and on about this but at least give this conversation the psychological attention that it richly deserves.

Thank you in advance for your more serious considerations.
 

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