Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Key Points

Video Lottery Terminals

• A video lottery terminal (VLT) is a gambling machine that allows people to play
   various games, including blackjack, poker, and conventional slots.

• Gambling at VLTs can be highly addictive and may be associated with negative
   social and health impacts, including:

         Family dysfunction and domestic violence.
       •  Alcohol and other drug abuse.
         Psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety.
       •  Suicide. 
       •  Loss of employment and poverty.
       •  Criminal behaviour.

• Youth and adult gambling behaviours are affected by the ready availability of VLTs,
   local gambling culture, and peer influence.

• Researchers have found associations between neighbourhood socioeconomic
   characteristics and VLT availability:

         In Quebec, researchers found a strong correlation between lower
           socioeconomic conditions and a greater prevalence of VLTs.

         In Montreal and Laval, researchers found that VLTs were more prevalent
           near schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods than near schools in more 

           affluent neighbourhoods.