We are not talking about the type of gambling that is in the grey zone of the law. Grey gambling refers to the elderly traveling to casinos or, if they are more tech-savvy, turning on their smartphones and visiting sites like Betat, though, admittedly, these are far less frequent. Why do the seniors gamble so much? Are they hoping to put their grandkids through school, or is it something else?
It’s Something to Do
Imagine being an older person living away from the family. Visits are getting less and less frequent and when they happen, it’s mostly small talk and pathetic attempts at bonding, with the children’s achievements being the main topic, along with commenting on the weather. This is why senior citizens develop hobbies or go back to work. It gives them something to do.
After a while, reading books, fishing, or playing chess and mahjong with your neighbours is just not enough. It puts people in an uncomfortable routine. With such a mentality filled with boredom, it is easy to see the appeal of casinos. There are bright lights, noises, and a way to spend some cash for fun. Most senior gamblers don’t play to win – they play for the sake of playing.
The Social Aspect
It is hard to meet new people, especially when you are already set in your ways. Widows and widowers who are eager to move on with their life need a way to put themselves out there in a setting that is not awkward. Furthermore, it is a great activity to meet new friends and discuss new things. Or is it?
The thing about casinos is that it is very easy for a person to get sucked in one particular game, like the slots. With the aforementioned lights and dopamine rush, it is very easy to disregard the people around you. Therein lies the trap – gambling addiction. Every person who is interested in visiting casinos knows the look of a person who is unaware of their surroundings because their eyes are fixed on the game in front of them. This means that the social aspect may not be as sound as one would hope.
The elderly are much more susceptible to the rush than most adults. Why? Think about it. Young adults are still trying to grasp the basic responsibilities of everyday life. As such, they might frequent the establishments more frequently to let off some steam. When you are a full-grown adult, you have many responsibilities in your life. Income, mortgage, family, and the work environment – all of these not only affect your daily life, but they are your daily life. It leaves very little room for risky behaviour.
The elderly have no such qualms with gambling. This is because they have far fewer responsibilities than others. After a while, it boils down to simply existing, which can get boring pretty fast. With this sense of responsibility or, to put it better, lack thereof, the appeal of risky behaviour cannot be denied. Alcohol, addictive substances, and gambling are the things that the older population feels cannot harm them, at least not for long, as they have little to lose. So, might as well have some fun while we’re at it, eh?