Problem gambling prevalence and risk factors among older adults

Abstract

Reports on the results of a study that interview older adults at casinos and racetrack slot machine venues (racinos) in Ontario. The study used an intercept survey employing cluster sampling methods to obtain a random sample of 2,103 Ontario older adults (aged 55 and older) gambling at seven sites across the province. Older adults exiting the gaming floor were randomly selected to be invited to participate in an interview / survey, which required about 15-20 minutes of their time. Participants provided information about their own gambling behavior and gambling-related problems, attitudes toward gambling, gambling and gambling problems in their community, and their assessment of the impact of new casinos. Data were collected between July and September, 2013. The majority of respondents held a generally positive view of gambling, and reported that gambling in casinos / racinos played a positive role in their lives. They reported gambling in casinos / racinos primarily for entertainment and excitement and to socialize. On average, they participated in about 4 forms of gambling, and 81.2% reported playing casino games monthly or more often. They reported spending an average of 3.33 hours gambling at casinos / racinos per visit; 192.8 hours per year. The prevalence of severe problem gambling in the sample was 7.6%. The paper will also report the results of a regression analysis examining predictors on problem gambling.

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