Seniors: Gambling, Pasttime or Addiction?

Jan 26th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Gambling in Arizona

Arizona is a haven for casinos.  Because of the Indian Reservations, there are pockets where there are no state laws governing the presence and proliferation of Gambling Casinos. Some are quite large and luxurious.  Others are more modest, but still offer what the public seeks. On most days, their parking lots are filled with automobiles and tour buses.

Because Arizona is a haven for seniors, a wide swath of those found in the casino are older persons, many  of whom are from some distances away. Casinos offer the convenience of their own bus transportation.

To be sure, as we have suggested here before, one of the daily challenges met by the senior is “what’s to do today?”   Casinos provide a ready answer, albeit not necessarily an inexpensive one for many seniors.

Gambling Addiction Concerns

While it is true there are come ons and bargains, one must exercise disciplined prudence not to dig too deeply into the rent or milk money while seeking to have a good time.  Going in groups is usually a way to help slow the enthusiasm for dropping too much money.  Meals are normally quite inexpensive, sometimes even complimentary.

If gambling becomes an obsessive  activity which seems to draw one more frequently than economics or other issues would advise, then it is time to evaluate why so much time and income are being spent there.  Some seniors find the draw more than they can handle, and become addicted to gambling. Addictions are defined in medical terms, and are habits or patterns that create enslavement.  When one is addicted to gambling, they are generally unable to say no to the habit.

However, the good news is that gambling addiction can be treated. Successful treatment requires professionals who are trained to assist the enslaved senior to manage the addiction.  As is true of any addiction, it never goes away.  But it can be managed.



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