CAW President Calls for Moratorium on Establishment of Online Gaming

August 11, 2010, 12:41 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is calling for a moratorium on government-sanctioned online gaming sites until the issue can be thoroughly studied, including the effect on gaming behaviour and addictions and the economic impact on existing gaming locations.

"Internet gaming facilitates serious gambling addictions wherein participants can spend thousands of dollars without ever leaving their homes or coming into contact with another human being," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "This is very worrisome and could prey on vulnerable populations who could easily fall victim to gambling addictions."

"This issue is important enough that the people of Ontario should decide, in the form of a referendum as part of the 2011 provincial election," said Lewenza.

Lewenza also said neither the Ontario government nor the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation currently know to what extent the introduction of internet gaming will impact existing gaming facilities, some of which were set up in depressed areas to stimulate the local economy. "It could lead to a loss of jobs at a time when the province cannot afford it - this should also be taken into account."

The CAW is the largest gaming union in the country, representing more than 7,000 gaming workers, including nearly 1,000 members at OLG. 

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