Seniors and Gambling
For as long as church bingo has existed, so have stereotypes about Seniors and gambling. The image that pops into most people’s heads is one of a little blue-haired lady slowly dabbing multiple bingo cards, or carefully sliding quarters into a slot machine. But with the growing population of Senior citizens, casinos are cashing in with a boom of their own. The house always wins, after all.
In order to attract Seniors, casinos are not only relying on coupons and free buffets anymore. They are sending buses and offering free accommodations to Seniors willing to call their casino home for the night. Casinos have always used their free swag to get patrons in the door, but Seniors may be more vulnerable than others.
For many Seniors, gambling has the potential to become a problem. With limited means, increased isolation, and often times, the physical limitations brought on by age or illness, gambling may seem like one of their only recreational options. However, just as it is possible at any age, Seniors can succumb to gambling addiction.
That’s not to say all gambling is bad. Nor is every Senior who enjoys a trip to the casino headed for addiction. But, as with anything, moderation is necessary. The problem is that as Seniors become older and the ailments increase, they tend to think less about the future and live more in the moment. While this can be liberating for some, for others, it can mean that self-control goes right out the window.
Whether it’s bingo or backgammon, gambling can be addictive at any age. Not only is it a rush to win, but it’s an easy way to be social with strangers without feeling awkward. For some Seniors, they just want to be seen, to have someone else witness the events of their day so they do not feel alone. And perhaps that is something people of all ages can relate to, at times.