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Addiction the root cause?

The man charged with leaving his toddler in a car while he gambled forseveral hours in a Calgary casino, may appear on the surface to be anirresponsible parent, an addiction expert said.

The man charged with leaving his toddler in a car while he gambled for several hours in a Calgary casino, may appear on the surface to be an irresponsible parent, an addiction expert said.

But an underlying issue could be related to a deeper addiction, University of Calgary addictions expert Dr. David Hodgins said yesterday after police charged a 50-year-old man with child abandonment.

“It’s inevitable; the offer of gambling to the public will bear some consequences, and unfortunately there are consequences,” Hodgins said, adding he couldn’t comment directly on this case.

Although it’s a broad range from scratch tickets to casinos, Hodgins estimates about 70 to 80 per cent of Albertans gamble in various forms.

“People can get caught up in a cycle of ‘chasing their losses,’ maybe they lose track of time and the other responsibilities,” he added.

Just before midnight on Sunday, a Silver Dollar Casino patron heard a baby crying from a car in the parking lot. The windows had been covered with blankets and after fire crews entered the vehicle, the 21-month-old was taken to hospital.

Police believe the baby had been left in the car for up to six hours and “was cold to the touch.”

 
 
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