In a critical update to members, the Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO) has confirmed that it has had its provincial funding cut from The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The independent organization was formed to eliminate harm from gambling.
In its update, the organization stated: “At a time when the provincial government is expanding access to gambling, resources to prevent gambling problems and related harms should be increased and not slashed. GREO has been advised to wind down operations immediately.”
It further advised: “In 2018, the Ontario government took in a record $2.5bn in revenue from gambling. GREO’s total budget is less than .001 percent of that amount.”
GREO added that with this “small investment from the Ontario government”, it has contributed to the recognition of the Ontario government as a world leader when it comes to a commitment to offering gambling in a safe and sustainable manner. It also claimed to have funded and supported over 30 front-line community organizations throughout the province and developed the largest digital collection of accessible information about what other jurisdictions are doing about gambling harm.
It concluded: “We know this information is as devastating to you as it is to us. We will have more information in the days ahead as to how we can all ensure that this important work continues in Ontario.”