|Can the ancient Chinese method of Acupuncture cure problem gambling? To answer that, the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre is researching into it, thanks to a $3.2-million fund raised last year from a levy on gamblers. Researchers believe such studies will make a difference with new information. |
The study has its share of critics. They point out that instead of warning people about gambling’s ill effects and arming them information, money is being misused on such abstract studies. Nancy Langille of the Gambling Watch Network says, ‘The logic of gambling is simple -- people play, people lose. In any game of chance, the odds are stacked against the wagerer. Were it not so, the Ontario government would not reap $2-billion a year in profits and promote its casinos.’
But ‘science’ continues to progress. 'We hypothesize that acupuncture may reduce anxiety and cravings,' comments researcher Nigel Turner, from the acupuncture project, which involves inserting needles into the bodies of problem gamblers at various pressure points and study the effects. Turner’s other similar studies cost between $100,000 to $160,000.
Of $2.6-million granted this year, $400,000 will be for the acupuncture study and two others to study the efficacy of drugs and Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Since July 2000 over $9-million has been spent on research to study esoteric links between genes and gambling, teenage gambling, etc.