Thursday, September 15, 2005

Senior Gambling Problem Growing

Do seniors have a gambling problem? This report says yes:

Senior Gambling Problem?

What's not debatable is how devastating such a compulsion can be. Retirees on fixed incomes have far fewer options to replace the money they lose gambling.

"They can't recoup," said Don Hulen, executive director of the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling and himself a former gambler. While some can return to work, few can replace sums accumulated over a lifetime. "Sometimes they call our hotline after they've taken the pills to commit suicide. One guy called who had a gun to his head."

Not a pretty picture, and it's sad that seniors looking for entertainment to take up empty time get trapped in the gambling game. It's a bad thing and I don't gamble because it's a loosing proposition, the House will win in the end. I work too hard to put my money on the table of chance. For all the tax revenue it brings, I say the gambling fall-out issues are far greater.

"The majority by far go there, have some fun and lose a few bucks," Hulen said. "Then they attack the cheap buffet." But the University of Pennsylvania study found that more than one in 10 seniors were "at risk" gamblers -- defined as those who wagered more than $100 in a single bet or more than they could afford to lose, or both.

I don't worry about those seniors who go to the casinos to get a good deal on the buffet and spend nothing or little on gambling, I've done that myself. That's my way of visiting a casino from my perspective and grounding. I do worry about those who spend money they don't have. That's a problem and something that should not be an additional burden on our seniors.

If you have a senior parent call them and talk about this. If you have an uncle or aunt or family friend that is a senior who has talked about going to the casinos, call them and talk about this. Give them your opinions and make sure they understand that they should set a viable limit to the gambling fun and then that's it. Better yet tell them to go to the buffet and then have a drink and not gamble at all. You owe them that if you care about them............................................