Casino Gambling Among Older Adults in North Dakota: A Policy Analysis
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This article examined social issues surrounding casino gambling among older adults both nationally and in the state of North Dakota. An exploratory review of gambling trends among older adults and an examination of policies to protect older gamblers revealed that older adults are targeted by the gaming industry as a lucrative market (Singh et al. J Retail Leisure Property 2007, 6(1):61–68). The authors used the national literature to frame their qualitative study, which explored gambling issues among older adults in North Dakota from the perspective of six counselors trained in gambling addiction who provide treatment services in the state. Findings indicated that relatively few policies existed at the state and national levels to protect older, more vulnerable adults who gamble. Further, the six casinos in North Dakota were viewed as very effective in marketing their casino gaming opportunities to older citizens by the gambling treatment providers interviewed. Additionally, barriers to gambling addiction treatment involved lack of available services and distance to receive services in this rural state. Based on the findings of this study, social policy changes which could lead to increased protection for older adult gamblers in the state were included.
KeywordsGambling Older adults Gambling social policies Casino gambling
The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Gamblers Choice of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota for their assistance in participant recruitment, and to Drs. Margaret Fitzgerald and Gregory Sanders at North Dakota State University for their assistance.
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