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Gambling survey sees good response


A five-day gambling survey by phone being conducted by a University of Manitoba professor ended Tuesday, seeing a good response from women across Northwestern Ontario.

“We haven’t sorted the calls by postal code yet but we certainly had some from Fort Frances,” said Prof. Ruth Berry of the Family Studies department at the U of M.

“We got about 40 calls that we can use.”

She noted most of calls came from women in Dryden, Kenora, Sioux Lookout, and here.

“Most people were willing to do follow-up interviews, which is great,” added Prof. Berry. “A lot of women just said, ‘No problem. It’s just something I like to do for enjoyment.’ And then there are other cases.

“When you get a chance to do a more in-depth interview, that’s definitely beneficial,” she noted. “We’re trying to get a wide range of subjects—younger women, older women.”

Prof. Berry said she’ll be arranging interviews with test subjects, which most likely will be held in January.

“We want to have a little lapse between now and Christmas because people will be busy with their shopping and the parties,” she remarked.

As first reported in last week’s Times, the focus of the study is on the gambling habits of any women over the age of 18—not necessarily “problem gamblers.”

The study is being funded by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, which is why Prof. Berry and her students are focusing on women in Northwestern Ontario as opposed to those in Manitoba.

The data gathered during the study will go to the centre but the study itself is an exercise for students—and could lead to related studies on the university’s part.

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