You Bet Your Life: Why Gambling Seniors Stay Young at Heart
Maybe humans scale back on drugs, sex and rock n’ roll with the advancing years, but some new interesting research has shown that when it comes to gambling, age does not dampen people’s love of casinos. And that’s not research done by the possibly self-promoting casino industry either; the American Journal of Geriatric Psychology, presumably a fairly conservative pub aimed at doctors, says that upwards of 70 percent of all senior citizens gamble. And while they don’t define the minimum age for being considered a “senior” for these purposes, we can safely guess that it’s most likely over 55.
Senior Gambler Profile
It may surprise you to learn that most casinos have a solid number of seniors in their player bases. After all, many are retired, and gambling provides not only some excitement and fun, but also a social milieu, which most find appealing.
When it comes to keeping your mind engaged and getting some social interaction to boot, nothing fills the bill like poker, of course. And no one better represents the benefits of staying mentally sharp by playing some No Limit Texas Hold’em than the two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ and ambassador for poker, Doyle Brunson himself. Brunson turns 80 this year, and despite bouts with cancer and other ailments that have occasionally kept him wheelchair-bound, he continues to play at WSOP events and competed in the 2013 NBC National Heads Up Championship (although surely the only octogenarian to do so).
An author who has written five poker psychology books, Dr. Alan Schoonmaker (also a contributing writer for Card Player Magazine), says the areas of the brain poker players utilize when playing makes it an excellent activity for aging brains to stay agile and sharp. And if you think about it, that line of thought could really be applied to almost any games in a casino or online. Even the simplest slot game involves paying attention and focus, and table games like blackjack and craps (where there is always 33 things happening at once with any given throw of the dice) certainly fit the bill as well.
More Risk Adverse
Perhaps because they have more money (in general) to lose, and less time and ability to make it back if they do, seniors as a group tend to be a little less wild and crazy in the gambling department than their younger counterparts. For seniors, it’s more an excuse to get out of the house and meet up with friends, and chances are they are happier with casino giveaways and smaller wins than a 21-year-old wild child would be.
Then there’s the hours they tend to be seen at casinos. With most properties being open 24/7/365, seniors can take advantage of what tends to be earlier rising hours, grab a nice breakfast over at the casino coffee house, and probably find almost any machine or table they want open and welcoming. No wonder casinos love seniors so much; they fill in the gaps between the late night party animals and the elegant dinner crowd.
Stay at Homes
Of course, some senior citizens may have physical issues that make going to a land casino too much of an effort, and that’s where Internet casinos are really a blessing. Now seniors can enjoy all the same great games that their land-based-going friends do!
Whether by land or by net, and no matter your age, we all have a little gamble in us, so have fun and may good luck shine down upon you!