RGC on Linked in @RGCouncil RGCouncilCanada
Open Mobile Nav Open Mobile Search

Who is RGC?

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention.

more about us...

Chen's Story

“I was ashamed of gambling because it was no good for my wife and children,” Chen says, but rather than stop, admits he was getting worse and worse.

Chen believed he could make money by gambling.

“I had a good business, looked after my family and my in-laws but, then, when business slowed down, I thought I could make up the difference by gambling.”

The first time Chen gambled, more than 20 years ago, he was bored.  “My wife thought I was working too hard so she suggested I go on an excursion to Atlantic City.  I had never gambled before because it was illegal in Hong Kong.”

The plane left Toronto at 6 a.m.  “Everybody was smiling because they hoped they were going to make money.  But when I actually got to the casino, it didn’t seem very exciting.  I didn’t know how I was going to spend a whole day there.

“I used my money –  $250 –  slowly to make sure it would last until I could leave.” Then, at the end of the day, with his last bet, he won $500.

 “I was so happy.  When you win the first time you play, you think it’s easy to get money by gambling.” 

Chen says his wife warned  him that it wasn’t that easy and that he shouldn’t count on winning again.  But when business slowed down a few weeks later, he went back to Atlantic City.

“I thought maybe I’d be lucky again.  The second time, I took $500 and lost all of it.”

In the early years, he was gambling only three or four times a year but, eventually began going more and more frequently and, little by little, losing more money every time.

“I was out of control for the last four or five years,” Chen says.   “I supported my family but I spent all the extra money we had.”

His wife complained because he wasted so much money and complained because he went out so often.  She wanted him to invest extra money in his business and spend his spare time with his family.

“I was ashamed of gambling because it was no good for my wife and children,” Chen says, but rather than stop, admits he was getting worse and worse.

“Then I got lucky and saw a little newspaper ad that asked a few questions about gambling.  When I looked at my answers, I thought ‘Oh my God, I’ve got a problem’.”

”I called the number in the ad and was referred to Chinese Family Services. With their help, little by little I began to understand that it was me making my life worse and only I could make it better. 

That was five years ago.  It was tough but with the help of counsellors and the support of my family, I got better day by day.  Now, I am happy.”

Chinese Family Services of Ontario (CFSO) provides counselling for Chinese-Canadians facing gambling-related problems. Free and confidential counselling is also available for family members and friends of the gambler.

CFSO: 416-979-8299 or 1-866-979-8298

Website: www.chinesefamilyso.com

Chen's story
The first time Chen gambled, more than 20 years ago, he was bored.

Want to learn more about safer gambling?

Get help