Woman calls 911 after gambling in Ontario casino leaves her broke.
What constitutes an emergency? I mean a real emergency. The kind you grab the phone and dial 911 for. An accident at home or on the highway, a severe medical situation, a fire, or a burglary; these are all perfect examples of a genuine emergency situation, worthy of a call to 911. Losing all your money gambling in a casino… well, not so much.
That’s exactly what one Ontario woman did over the weekend. Reasonably so, emergency dispatchers at 911 aren’t very happy with the woman’s reaction to her inability to control her gambling. They are kindly reminding the public that their services are intended for real emergencies only.
Woman Calls 911 after Gambling in Ontario Casino
The woman, who will remain nameless, is a 21 year old female from Leeds, Ontario. Last weekend, she spent untold hours gambling at the Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands. When things didn’t go her way, police say she made a call to 911 at approximately 5:00am Saturday morning.
The exact conversation this woman had with 911 officers has not been quoted by authorities or local media. The gist of the communique, however, probably went something like this…
Hello 911, I need your help. I’ve been gambling in a casino, and I lost everything! I have no money left… and I need a ride home.
After requesting assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to get home, the 21 year old female was instructed by the 911 operator to stay put while they verified her location and sent help. She agreed and hung up the phone.
A short time later, she called back to tell OPP that someone was kind enough to give her $20. With money in her pocket, she said that she was going back into the casino, and would no longer need a ride home.
The local Leeds media had no further details on the situation. It’s not known whether the woman went back into the casino to call a cab, or if she went back to gamble away the $20 so generously given to her by a sympathetic bystander. I’m going to try to be optimistic here and hope that she did the right thing, calling for a cab.
Emergencies Only, Please!
Clearly irked by the situation, Detachment Commander Inspector Mike Francis issued a statement following the incident. He is reminding citizens of Ontario that 911 is a vital service designated for emergencies only.
“An emergency is any situation when the safety of people or property is at risk and requires immediate assistance,” says Commander Francis.
He went on to describe a list of examples of genuine emergencies. “Examples of 9-1-1 emergencies include: a crime in progress, a fire or a medical emergency or simply, whenever police, fire or ambulance assistance is required immediately.”
The Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands appropriately published additional contact information for anyone seeking assistance with a gambling problem.
“Support is available for those that require assistance with gambling addictions in Ontario at Access to Addiction, Mental Health, and Problem Gambling Services 1-866-531-2600.”