Gambling women face rising addiction rate

When the glitzy Casino Windsor first opened, Paula plunked $100 into a slot machine. Within months she was lying to her husband, sneaking from the house and losing thousands.

``I would say I was going grocery shopping, but I would go to the casino all day. It was a euphoria I could not get anywhere else. I loved the sounds of a slot machine, the lights were like stars. I would go into a daydream.''

She lost $30,000. So Paula asked casino security to ban her.

Woman admits killing parents for poker money

A woman has confessed that she murdered her parents last week to get their life insurance money for her video-poker addiction, authorities said.

Sheriff Duane Blair said the 28-year-old woman admitted to shooting her father, 58, between the eyes as he lay in bed before going to another bedroom and shooting her mother, 51, in the chest.

The couple died Jan. 25, shortly after the woman went to their house to pick up one of her daughters. After putting the child in the car, she went back inside and killed the two with her father's gun, Blair said.

Better Living

HOST: Valerie Pringle

GUEST: Dr. Durand Jacobs, First Vice-President, National Council on Problem Gambling; Howard Faulkner, Director, Alberta Alcohol & Drug Abuse Commission

PRINGLE: Legalized gambling's an issue Canadians have debated fairly hotly over the years -- from lottery tickets to provincially-sanctioned casinos, which are springing up all over the place. It's an opportunity obviously for the provincial governments to make some money, but one social cost is an increase in gambling addition, which is the focus of a conference taking place in Alberta today.

Who helps the gamblers that casinos help create?

Al has a gentle face. He has a face of soft creases and pale-blue eyes. He looks older than his 52 years.

Al used to steal money from his daughter. He used to take money from his wife's purse. Once he stole $4,500 from a charity to which he belonged. He begged, borrowed and lifted every cent he could lay his hands on, and then bet it and lost it.

''I'd go through $90 a day, just on bingo,'' he recalls, in a sad, quiet voice. ''It was nothing to put down $75 on lottery tickets.''