Instant Ticket Purchasing by Ontario Baby Boomers: Increasing Risk for Problem Gamblers
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Instant ticket purchase gambling (ITPG) is pervasive in Ontario and has features that mimic slot machine play. Previous researchers have reported that ITPG is one preferred activity for at-risk/problem gamblers. In the general Canadian population, rate of participation in ITPG is second only to lottery ticket gambling. Both are particularly favored by youth and seniors. The next cohort of seniors will be Canada’s baby boomers, one-third of whom live in Ontario. Secondary analysis of Statistics Canada data revealed that adults in this cohort who buy instant gambling tickets (N = 1781) are significantly different from the complete group of their age peers (N = 4266) in number of activities pursued and frequency of involvement. At-risk/problem gambling prevalence was 10.2% amongst Ontario baby boomers who participate in instant ticket gambling, significantly higher than the 6.7% found amongst the total group of baby boom gamblers. For those who reported experiencing one or more of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index indicators for problem gambling (N = 237), 73% were buying instant tickets. Future research should consider cohort effects and explore combinations of preferred gambling activities that may increase risk for problem gambling. Social policy recommendations include the use of all ITPG venues as key locations for promoting awareness of problem gambling treatment services.
KeywordsBaby boomers Seniors Lotteries Scratch tickets Instant tickets Problem gambling CCHS 1.2
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