June 2005

Families call for inquiry over VLT suicides

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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.

Deadly gambling addictions to VLT machines

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KEVIN NEWMAN: The government of Manitoba announcing a windfall today. Nearly $18 million in revenue from video lottery terminals are going to be used to fund things like libraries and arenas across that province. But this kind of government-sponsored gambling has a darker side to it as well. Here's Global National's Ross Lord.

ROSS LORD (Reporter): The message is familiar.

DON BISHOP (Father of Suicide Victim): They're insidious machines of mass destruction.

VLTs passions run deep

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We humans are desperately flawed creatures, full of base appetites that cause us no end of guilt and torment.

Thank God there are those who have made it their life mission to save us from ourselves.

But do we really want to be saved? And who is to say our self- appointed saviours have the moral authority to do so?

If you look at the past 8,000 years of human civilization, the answer to both questions would have to be no.