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Reasons Older Adults Gamble

  • Entertainment
  • To cope with losses: personal decline in health; loss of partner; loss of vehicle; retirement (loss of job/profession identity); loss of home; chronic pain; disabilities; abuse
  • To experience feelings of elation which may diminish their awareness of physical pain
  • Intensified personal vulnerability toward compulsive behavior
  • To gain a purpose in life
  • Targeted by marketing enterprises: promotions, buffets, drawings, etc.
  • Disposable income: retirement income; fewer expenses in monthly budget

Resource:  Senior Prevention Intervention Counseling Education (S.P.I.C.E.) Topeka, Kansas

Why Should Seniors Learn About Problem Gambling?

When problem gambling does develop in an older adult, they have less time and opportunity to recover their losses. When older adults and their friends take the time to become educated about problem gambling they are more likely to:

  • not become enablers of problem gamblers
  • be able to recognize problem gambling in themselves and get help


What treatment is available for problem gambling in seniors?

What Resources are Available?

National Problem Gambling Help Line
(800) 522-4700

The National Problem Gambling Help Line provides help to people with gambling problems and their families. Callers receive confidential, professional service from trained counselors. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free of charge.

Indiana Help Line
(800) 994-8448

Gambling Recovery Ministries
(812) 926-1052

Gamblers Anonymous (GA)

Gam-Anon: A peer-led support group, Gam-Anon provides a supportive environment for the spouses, relatives, or close friends of- problem gamblers to share their experiences. There is no membership fee.  A list of local meetings is available by calling the above Problem Gambling Help Lines.