More and more seniors are gambling these days. You must be careful.
Gambling is not a problem if it’s low risk, meaning you play bingo, buy lottery tickets, or visit the casino now and then just for fun. But if gambling takes over your life, watch out. Problem gambling can create very serious financial difficulty for seniors. It can become a desperate addiction. It can involve vicious circles of fantasy and need.
Understand these dangers by reading through this section. Learn about:
- The reasons for problem gambling
- Signs of problem gambling
- Help for problem gamblers
Click through these pages or feel free anytime to contact a qualified credit counsellor at Credit Canada Debt Solutions.
Seniors and gambling
Some say seniors are more likely to gamble these days because they have so many ways to do it - lotteries, casinos, sports betting, Bingo halls, and more.
But you have to question whether all these things help to promote problem gambling. The truth is that seniors, like everyone, must take responsibility for their own lives.
There are a number of reasons why seniors gamble:
- They feel lonely and isolated, and gambling serves as an escape.
- They have fixed incomes and think gambling will bring in more money.
- They have free time as retirees and want to occupy themselves.
- They want to have a little fun and maybe experience a little thrill.
Gambling is no way to escape life or to solve money problems. On the other hand, it can be entertaining and a way to enjoy the company of others. Just remember that it’s only a game.
Signs of problem gambling
There are healthy, low risk gamblers who play for fun. And there are problem gamblers who get caught up in addictive behaviour that can cause big trouble.
Problem gamblers, like alcoholics and drug addicts, are likely to say they don’t have a problem. But the signs are clear. People are sure to have a gambling problem when they:
- Become all wrapped up with gambling.
- Neglect family, friends, and work to gamble.
- Go into debt or tap savings and assets to gamble.
- Can’t pay bills due to gambling.
- Can’t stop gambling after trying to stop again and again.
- Lie to others to cover up gambling.
- Feel guilt or shame because of gambling.
Problem gambling can become a serious illness that needs treatment.
Problem gambling can come in stages. If as a senior you are smart enough to see that you are developing a problem, take steps to help yourself by putting together a game plan. Stick to it as follows:
- Set time limits for gambling.
- Set a loss limit. Never spend more than you can afford to lose.
- Don’t gamble when stressed, depressed or troubled.
- Never borrow to gamble.
Now, all this advice may be easier said than done. If you or someone close is already in the depths of a serious gambling problem, get professional help here:
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at www.camh.net - 1-800-463-6273
- ProblemGambling.ca by CAMH at www.problemgambling.ca - 416-535-8501
Meanwhile, if gambling has got you into debt you can’t handle, contact us at Credit Canada Debt Solutions. We can help solve your debt problem, and get you treatment.