What You Need to Know about Gambling when You’re a Senior Citizen


Gambling has been around for ages, and most of us enjoy the thrill of a game or two when we chance to visit a casino. But if you are of senior age and have a lot of time on your hands, it’s easier to get enmeshed in gambling – after all, it provides us with a new and exciting way to spend our time, and what’s the harm in shelling out a few bucks to get that kick? However, there are some things you need to know if you are a senior and are just starting to get into casino gambling.

Know when to continue – and know when to quit

When it comes to gambling, we all enjoy risking it in slot machine games, card games, and more. But when it comes to older gamblers, there’s a difference between risking all your money and not knowing when to quit and being reasonable with your risk-taking and knowing when to call it a day. If you love the thrill of gambling but can remain reasonable enough to know when it’s just not your lucky time, then you don’t have too much of a problem. But if your behaviour is changing when playing casino games – if you’re risking too much – it may be time to step back and analyse yourself.

There are certain signs that may point to a growing addiction to gambling. If you are too preoccupied or obsessed with gambling – if you think about it all day, if you constantly reminisce about a big win, are always planning your next trip to the casino – this may be cause for concern. Additionally, if you find yourself becoming moody or irritable if you can’t gamble, there may be something wrong as well. Chasing your losses is another sign that you may be getting too emotionally involved. Another clear sign of a problem is if you begin to borrow money from other people just to gamble and make up for your losses.

What makes it difficult?

The problem is that if you’re an older gambler, you simply have more time on your hands compared to younger gamblers. You may see gambling as more of an escape rather than something in which you can while away your time. The risk is there – in the US alone, around 15% of people who called a helpline in New Jersey in 2007 for help with gambling problems were older than 55.

What you can do

If you notice yourself becoming more and more addicted to gambling, talk to someone. Speaking with a family member or a professional such as a psychologist may help. It may also be a good idea to give someone you trust control of your finances so you can limit your gambling activity. While gambling is often a pleasure, it can become an issue without the right amount of control or discipline.