11/06/2013 11:49 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST

Gambling In Alberta Is Too Accessible, Says Researcher, After Province Rakes In $2.2 Billion

In this Aug. 10, 2012 photo, people play an electronic slot machine in a room behind a bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Growing numbers of people appear to prefer their odds in gambling parlors set up everywhere from bars to bakeries on this U.S. territory and that's become not only a problem for the hotels running the bulk of legal casinos but for the government, which is already struggling with gaping budget shortfalls. As is, Puerto Rico will see two casinos close by the end of the year, with five other smaller casinos on the verge. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

CALGARY - A specialist with the Alberta Gambling Research Institute questions whether gambling is too accessible in the province.

Garry Smith is reacting after the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission announced that it took in $2.2-billion in 2012-13.

Smith says the government needs to take a serious look at the 19,000 VLTs in the province, which he says are the most addictive.

He says that at least 40 per cent of that revenue was collected from problem gamblers.

He says there are 24 casinos in Alberta, way more than any other province.

He notes that Ontario has a much bigger population but only 10 casinos.

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