TORONTO, July 20, 2017 - Almost one
in three older adults (30.2 per cent) who use casino tour buses have a moderate
to severe gambling problem according to a Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) study just published in the
journal Addiction. The research suggests the need for
gambling regulators to take a closer look at how casino bus tours are marketed
to adults 55 years of age and older.
“This is the
first time a study has looked at the relationship between tour bus usage and
gambling problems,” says lead author Dr.
Mark van der Maas. “This gap in research was troubling considering how
popular tour buses are with older adults and how casino tour companies
specifically target their marketing to seniors in retirement homes who may be
vulnerable to financial hardships.”
interviewed over 2,000 people who went to one of seven slot machine venues in Central
and Southwestern Ontario. While the
overall rate of severe gambling problems among older adults is relatively rare
– one in 500 – that number jumps to almost one in ten for those who go to casinos
on bus tours.
connection between greater access to gambling and problem gambling has been
well-established,” says co-author Dr. Nigel Turner. “These data suggest the need for better
regulation of casino marketing and advertising campaigns aimed at older adults.
Problem gambling prevention information efforts should be directed towards this
Dr. van der
Maas suggests people with loved ones who go to casinos should ask them about
adults may be experiencing a variety of issues such as retirement, health
problems, isolation, grief and loss and taking these bus tours may seem
appealing to them,” he says. “If you have a loved one who is an older adult
that goes to the casino regularly try going to the casino with them and see how
they spend their day. While the majority
of older adults gamble without serious issues, the progression into problem
gambling can be especially fast and hard-hitting for this age group because of
diminished financial and social resources.”
research was funded by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, now known
as Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO).
quality video clips of Dr. van der Maas available for download, check out this link.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching
hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field.
CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health
promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and
addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and
is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating
Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews and @CAMHResearch on Twitter.
The Problem Gambling Institute of
Ontario (PGIO) at
CAMH brings treatment professionals and leading researchers together with
experts in communicating and sharing knowledge. Our focus is on collaboratively
developing, modelling and sharing evidence-informed solutions to gambling- and
technology-related problems within Ontario and around the world.
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