The 2003 Nova Scotia Gambling Prevalence Study shows that the majority of Nova Scotians who gamble — 82.4 per cent — are “no risk” gamblers, meaning they are at no risk of developing problems with gambling. The rate of problem gambling has remained stable at 2.1 per cent (about 15,000 individuals), while the rate of those who are at risk has increased to 4.8 per cent (35,000 individuals), from 3.1 per cent in 1993. A study released today, Aug. 10, shows that Nova Scotia has thelowest rate of problem gambling in the country. Almost 90 percent of Nova Scotians have engaged in some form of gambling inthe past 12 months, with lottery draws, charity raffles and drawsand instant win tickets being the most popular. The last gambling prevalence studies were conducted in 1993 and Although there has been an increase in those at risk, Nova Scotiastill has the lowest combined rate of at risk and problem playersamong all other provinces who have conducted a prevalence studyusing the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). It is important to note that in this study, the standard CPGIlabels are revised. British Columbia and Ontario also use therevised labels. Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Albertause the standard CPGI labels. The comparison is as follows: — No positive responses to study questions equals no risk(standard CPGI calls this non-problem)– 1 to 2.5 positive responses to study questions equals at risk(standard CPGI calls this low risk) — 3 to 7.5 positive responses to study questions equals moderateproblem (standard CPGI calls this moderate risk) — 8 to 27 positive responses to study questions equals severeproblem (standard CPGI calls this problem). “This research provides us with the best information to developprograms, services and policies to prevent problem gambling, andto help families and individuals who are negatively impacted bygambling,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald.”We’re pleased to know that our programs are working to keep ourprevalence low, while it also reinforces the need for us to takea comprehensive look at the future of gaming in Nova Scotia.” The prevalence study suggests that most people experienceproblems with continuous forms of gambling, such as video lotteryterminals (VLTs), that enable prolonged, uninterrupted periods ofplay. About 57 per cent of problem gamblers say their problem iswith VLTs, while 28 per cent cite casino gambling (slots). Younger adults — between 19 and 24 years of age — are most atrisk for developing problems, while adults aged 25 to 35 are mostlikely to be problem gamblers. Key recommendations from the study include targeting at riskgamblers with more prevention and early intervention programs andbuilding more awareness of programs and services, such as theProblem Gambling Help Line, for problem gamblers and theirfamilies. The study also recommends working with the gaming sector todevelop policies that will reduce problem gambling. Mr. MacDonald said government would soon begin consultations todevelop a gaming strategy for Nova Scotia that will ensure abetter balance between social responsibility and economic return. The 2003 Gambling Prevalence Study involved telephone surveyswith 2,800 Nova Scotians between April and June of 2003. Thestudy was conducted by Focal Research and funded by the NovaScotia Gaming Foundation. The report is available on the website atwww.gov.ns.ca/ohp/addictionprevention.html .