Aurora Recovery Centre

Older adults are a leading population for problem-gambling and gambling addiction. Daily casino-goers receive the comical illustration of a grandma-type and grandpa-type. Spending day in and day out at the casino, gambling has become a stereotyped activity for the elderly. Unfortunately, the problem is less deserving of laughter than it is genuine concern. With failing mental faculty and a very empty schedule, older adults become the target of casino marketing.

senior citizens gambling addiction

Why it is Exciting

Gambling is enticing for very specific reasons. Casinos incorporate targeted psychological marketing and persuasion into everything. For example, there are no clocks on a casino floor. Fresh, cold oxygen pumps on the floor twenty four hours around the clock. The lights and sounds from machines are intentional and often scheduled. Alcohol is regularly served and refilled. All of these small tactics which make up the allure of casino culture serves one purpose: to get people to spend more money.

Targeting Seniors

Seniors are specifically targeted in other ways. Casinos will provide free alcohol, entertainment and dining incentives, senior discounts on machines, and more. Some casinos will go so far as to provide scooters for seniors who can’t walk, oxygen tanks for those who need assistance breathing, and personal assistants for the day.

While gamblers think their dollars spent are up to chance, casino owners know differently. Most slot machines are run on specific formulas of probability and pattern meant not to let people win. Problematically, an aging senior who is drinking alcohol, most likely in combination with medications, and perhaps losing their memory is at high risk. Seniors can lose a lot of money in a day if they develop a serious gambling problem.

Signs Of Senior Gambling Addiction

  • Spending excess amount of time at the casino
  • Referring to casino staff members as friends
  • Growing an emotional attachment or need to being at the casino
  • Lying about going to the casino or how much money they spent
  • Asking to borrow money or always claiming to be broke
  • Attaching importance to gambling
  • Gambling more to compensate for previous losses

Treating Gambling Addiction In The Elderly

Treatment and recovery are possible at any age. However, there are special concerns when it comes to treating the elderly. The brain is not as responsive to change.


Aurora Recovery Centre welcomes all persons suffering from problem gambling and gambling addiction. Our facility treats co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and process addictions like gambling. For more information call 844-515-STOP today.