Stacking the odds: A phenomenological study of non-problem gambling in later life
Institute Funded Reports
SubjectGambling -- Social aspects -- Canada
Older people -- Recreation -- Canada
Phenomenological sociology -- Canada
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AbstractThe purpose of this exploratory, phenomenological-hermeneutic study was to explore the experience of non-problem gambling by older adults. Twelve older gamblers were identified as non-problem gamblers using two gambling screens and participated in in-depth interviews about their experience of gambling. Two major themes emerged from the interviews: the attractions of gambling and methods to keep gambling in control. Older persons sought out gambling for a variety of reasons: social contact, the food and the excitement, chances to give to charity, chances to have an inexpensive holiday, and the need for a safe way to be "bad". Participants also described a number of cognitive and behavioural strategies to keep their gambling from becoming a problem. The results of this small exploratory study suggest that gambling is a popular form of social entertainment for older persons, although the main attractions of gambling have little or nothing to do with gambling itself. Older persons also appear to possess numerous strategies to keep gambling from becoming a problem.
SponsorshipThe authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the research funding support of the Alberta Gaming Research Institute (AGRI) for this project, and Dr. Robert Williams for his review of this manuscript.
Permission to include this article in the Alberta Gaming Research Institute's online collection has been purchased from the University of Toronto Press.