Another in our ocassional series on reasons to commit suicide. Today we have VLT addiction. That’s Video Lottery Terminal addiction. Apparently a bit of a problem in Canada, perhaps like the pokies problem in New South Wales. We used to call it gambling.
Four months before an addiction to video lottery terminals led 31-year-old Susan Piercey to commit suicide, she wrote a letter to the machines while at a treatment centre in her hometown of Corner Brook, Nfld.
“I sold my soul to play your game, you never judged me, ever ready to accept my money,” she wrote. “I have to let you go. You’ve hurt me more than anything or anyone in my life.”
That was in March 2003. Two months later, she took an overdose of pills and was dead in a week.
Surely action must be taken. Fear not.
Newfoundland announced a plan this spring that would reduce the number of VLTs in the province by 15 per cent over five years.
20% would clearly have been overdoing it, 10% not taking it seriously enough.
The other provionces wade in. Quebec moves 2,500 machines, that’s moves, not removes. Presumably hoping to confuse regulars. Ontario imposes a moratorium. There’s nothing like bringing in a bit of latin to clean up the problem. British Columbia follows suit, and Alberta sets a goal to follow Newfoundland. Halifax intends to do something, and Nova Scotia worries that a ban might lead to illegal gambling.
So far at least five VLT addicts have commited suicide.