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Seniors gamble as much as young adults.

Toronto--Gambling is as common an occurrence among older Ontario adults as it is among younger adults, according to a report Seniors and Gambling: Sociodemographic and Mental Health Factors Associated with Problem Gambling in Older Adults in Ontario published by Community Outreach Programs in Addictions.

Using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index the rate of problem gambling is estimated at 4.6%, contrasted with 6.4% for the general population.

The report indicates that older adults, as compared to younger adults reported

* at least one instance of gambling in the past year.

* gaming with lottery tickets (reported by 65.3% of the sample), instant win tickets (32% of the sample) and Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at casinos (24.1%).

* purchase of lottery and instant win tickets more frequent;

* less participation in sports lotteries and games other than slots or VLTs/at casinos.

*spending a greater amount of money and a higher proportion of their income

The report also points to these predictive factors:

* gambling problems were 29 times higher among those who reported playing VLTs/at casinos once a month.

* being married or living common law, having a higher education level, and living in more traditional family arrangements were associated with reduced risk of gambling problems.

* rising expenditures on gambling were strongly related to gambling problems; and 16 times higher among those who spent 2% or more of their income on gambling, in comparison to those who spent less than 1%.

Alcohol dependence and any substance dependence significantly increases the odds of reporting a gambling problem.

The study was conducted by J. McCready, R. Mann, J. Zhao, R. Eves.
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jan 23, 2006
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