Late life gambling: The attitudes and behaviours of older adults


For a significant number of retired older adults (aged 65+), gambling has become a new form of recreation and entertainment. While prevalence studies have examined the incidence of problem gambling in other age groups, little research attention has been paid to the impact of gambling on older adults since the increase in availability and accessibility of legalized gambling within the last ten years. This study investigated the prevalence of problem gambling behaviors (SOGS-R), depression (GDS-15), levels of life satisfaction (SWLS), and motivations for gambling among older adults. A total of 315 older adults completed the study questionnaire and were grouped and analyzed according to those sampled from gambling venues and those from within the community. Results of the study found the most frequent accession and spending on several types of gambling occurred among older adults who were sampled at gambling venues. Older adults who were sampled at gambling venues were also found more likely to have higher levels of disordered gambling than older adults from the community, as measured by the SOGS-R. Relaxation, boredom, passing time, and getting away for the day were also the most likely reported motivations for the older adults who were gamblingpatrons. These findings provide an initial profile of older adults and their attitudes, motivations and gambling behaviors.

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