Casino gambling among urban elders

There are two trends colliding in the United States – the aging population and gambling. Nowadays, it’s possible to gamble in some way or another in 47 states. Casino gambling (including the use of an online casino platform) is available in 28 states currently. What’s more, Americans are spending billions of dollars each year on gambling. As for elders, the number of people visiting casinos has been on the rise. In fact, it’s doubled. This is much more apparent among the elderly population than any other group. With the expansion of casinos nationally and the increase in online casino platforms, there has been an ideal opportunity for older and retired people to take part in gambling activities.

The focus is usually on younger people

When people think of gamblers, they picture a certain type of person in their head. But when you look for in depth information about online casino or sportsbook gambling, you see an eclectic mix of people partaking in the activity.

It’s believed that older people are keen to go to casinos due to the social side of it. When people who used to, perhaps, take part in physical activities like sports clubs or walking clubs, they had an active social life. As mobility becomes a problem, older people look for social activities where it isn’t an issue.

The theory on activity

Whether or not older people continue to be active as they age depends on what their activity levels were like through their life. Those who were highly active are likely to remain somewhat active with old age. Those who weren’t so active will likely look for social activities that involve a lack of movement. 

Leisure activities also show a much greater range among the elderly population than previous generations. Never before have people stayed so well for so long (in general). And as society is becoming much more open and accepting, people are starting new hobbies even in the “third age.” While once old age meant sitting and knitting or watching the television, older people are becoming more involved in other activities, like gambling in an online casino platform believe it or not.

How many older people use casinos or an online casino platform?

It’s believed that one in six older people visit casinos in person each month. This is quite a high proportion. A further cohort will visit a few times a year. As for online casino platform use, the figures aren’t known. However, the older generation are becoming more and more tech-savvy. 

The internet really came about in the 1990s and so we have over thirty years of people learning how to navigate the world. People now in their 70s were in their 40s when they first learned about the internet and so they were still in a generation open to change. It’s fair to say that those in their 80s and 90s are the last of a pre-internet generation that were, for the most part, disinterested in learning to be online. 

Should we be concerned about older people accessing a casino or an online casino platform?

Due to casinos expanding rapidly both online and across the United States, there is a concern that older people are participating in an activity that could lead them to be exploited. 

Though culture generally supports the industry, it seems that many people are against older people using a casino or an online casino platform due to the risk of exploitation. 

Attitudes are changing, however, as more and more people prove themselves to be savvy enough to protect themselves online in this social activity. Of course, research is limited in this area and more needs to be done to support those who are online and using their money in gambling games. 

What can be done to support the older population using casinos, either in person or online?

No matter how a casino is accessed, whether in person or on an online casino platform, more needs to be done to protect those that are vulnerable among the older population. Older people tend to enjoy a variety of social activities and gambling plays a small but significant part in that. 

Where there is cause for concern, though, is among the retired and those on poor incomes who might be tempted to use an online casino in the hope of having a more enjoyable retirement. As the economy struggles, more people try to solve their financial woes with gambling – and older people aren’t alone in this. As for solutions? We need to make this a society-wide discussion.