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The world of gambling has always been tricky. The games have a way of luring you and before you know it, you have wagered more money than you could have imagined. The kind of effect gambling has on the brain is very similar to other addictions such as drugs and alcohol. This is the exact reason why a public health approach should be taken to regulate the industry. 

"The same reward circuitry that becomes dysfunctional when people become addicted to drugs like alcohol or cocaine is implicated in gambling as well," said Dr. Evan Wood, who is the medical director of addiction services at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care.

Indeed the symptoms are indistinguishable from one another. 

Dr. Wood also spoke profusely about how the public health approach was solution in this case. I fact it was most important in order to balance all the benefits that can be derived from the taxes and revenues produced by the gambling industry (The same way the government is earning from cigarette and alcohol companies) At the same time what will be insured it is that people don’t end up losing all their earnings and hence ruining their lives because of gambling. For it is of common understanding that whatever is prohibited cannot be regulated.

Gambling has such a huge history to it, one that goes back thousands of years. Even people in the ancient Greek society were gambling. Many even come to accept it as a part of the human condition which is why making it illegal could be the worst mistake to make. For when you make something illegal it can cause all sorts of harms, everything from organized crimes and underground betting.

In the light of this, we even saw former B.C. Lions player Angus Reid, who came forward to speak about his gambling problem and his path to eventual recovery on The Early Edition on Thursday. He spoke about how at the height of his addiction he dragged himself out of his bed and to the casino. After practice ended at 1:30 p.m., he would stay there until 7:00 a.m. and then head directly to the next day's practice. Clearly all sleep and appetite was lost in his addiction. 

"I wouldn't sleep, I wouldn't do anything. As long as I could find ways to get money, I wouldn't leave," he said.

Retiring from football in the year 2014, Reid eventually overcame his addiction by signing up for the BCLC voluntary self-exclusion program. This program allowed him to choose to exclude himself from a variety of gaming facilities and giving security staff the authority to remove them from the facility if there came up any need for the same.

Dr. Wood spoke about the benefits of the voluntary self-exclusion program and how it is an effective offering of the BCLC offers. He and says that there are many other people working in casinos who can sniff a potential addict from the very early stages and can make them aware of the same.