A brief search of the internet for “senior citizens gambling” provides a string of negative results, mostly related to gambling addiction in senior citizens and how casinos, bingo halls and online casinos maliciously prey on the elderly, encouraging them to spend their finances recklessly.
While there will always be unscrupulous casino operations and gambling addicts, for the majority of those concerned gambling is merely an entertaining pastime. In addition to this, new evidence has recently come to light that supports senior citizen’s gambling due to the number of positive effects that it can have on their mental and emotional wellbeing.
The majority of the elderly seek leisure activities to fill some of the many hours they have available since retirement and short trips to their favourite casino or bingo hall are a happy outing for many. Those who have mastered technology and either have difficulty getting around or no direct access to land based casinos and bingo halls even enjoy playing their favourite casino games online.
A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania indicated that 70% of the 1,000 senior citizens surveyed had taken part in some kind of gambling activity in the past year and that many had learnt how to use a computer in order to gamble online.
Numerous studies and Neuroscience research support the fact that learning new things helps to keep the brain healthy and functioning optimally, so as these senior citizens learn to gamble they are also exercising their brains. According to Professor Stephen Robinson of Monash University’s School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, it is essential to learn new things in order to be mentally stimulated and promote better health, especially in the elderly as it assists in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Pleasurable activities like gambling also aid in the release of serotonin, the feel good hormone, which improves mood and gives a feeling of general well-being. With limited pleasurable activities available to the elderly, serotonin levels may be low and activities which help to adjust this upwards are always a positive thing.
Obviously, there a number of very concerned children of the elderly who worry that their parents are gambling away their “inheritance”. While there are legitimate concerns that an elderly parent could become addicted to gambling and recklessly spend the money they have put aside for their own general wellbeing, studies also show that senior citizens on the whole are more responsible than younger recreational gamblers who often add alcohol or drug abuse to the mix. The elderly on the other hand tend to play it safer by limiting their spending and simply enjoy the game as well as the social aspects of gambling.
To those worrying about their inheritances, we’d like to remind you that an inheritance is a privilege and not a right and stopping your parents from enjoying themselves is a very selfish thing to do. Not only are they having fun, but they are stimulating their brains at the same time…what more could you ask for?
Provided that senior citizens are able to control themselves when gambling and manage their finances responsibly, gambling at online casinos is likely to cause a happier, healthier and more alert generation of seniors.