“Problem gambling in B.C. more than doubled in 5 years” CBC Online
“B.C. revenue increases as problem gambling more than doubles” Vancouver Sun
“B.C.’s problem gamblers double” (Victoria) Times Colonist
“Problem gamblers on the rise in B.C.” The (Kelowna) Daily Courier
The headlines on October 17th were certainly worrisome. But to me they revealed the challenge that comes from trying to boil down complex data and analysis to a level understandable or relevant to the general public.
The stories were based on a recent report by BC’s provincial health officer that included reference to two problem gambling prevalence studies released by the Province of British Columbia in March 2003 and January 2007. Both studies, undertaken by a respected international research firm, used an internationally recognized measurement tool (the Canadian Problem Gambling Index or CPGI) to assess the level of problem gambling among the adult population in British Columbia.