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Mary Cay Sengstock


Throughout the past decade, casino gambling has become a popular attraction for older adults. Casinos are currently located in 28 states, while Detroit is the largest city in the United States with casino gambling. Since casinos have become more accessible to older adults, many have discovered them as a way to spend their leisure time. However, little research has explored this phenomenon or the motivations of older adults who participate in this activity. To date, the research grossly under represents older adults who engage in gambling activities. Relatively unknown and understudied is the extent, or prevalence, of problem gambling among this population. This study is a probability sample of 1410 residents, 60 and older, which reside in the City of Detroit. Predictor variables include education, race, age, income, gender, marital status, social support network, transportation, self-rated health, mental health, social activities, senior optimism, social activities, community involvement, and attitudes about casino gaming. In order to predict frequency of casino visits and problem gambling the survey implemented two standardized tools: the SF-12 Health Status Survey and the Lie/Bet Questionnaire for Screening Pathological Gamblers. Research analyses include bivariate and logistic regression analyses. Previous research has suggested that older adults could be at risk of becoming problem gamblers, and those elders who enjoy casino gambling as an activity could become addicted. This study is designed to increase our understanding of casino gaming as a social activity among older adults. Research results explore the extent of and problems related to casino gambling among older adults, as well as provide insight into the meaning this activity brings to older adults' lives.

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