A Passion for Gambling: A Generation-Specific Conceptual Analysis and Review of Gambling Among Older Adults in Canada

Abstract

The proliferation of gambling opportunities in Canada, coupled with an aging population, has led to an increased prevalence of gambling among older adults. Encouraged by this trend, gambling industries have modified their activities to attract and market to this group. Yet, older adults are not a homogeneous group. The life experiences, values, and attitudes shared by generations make a cohort-specific analysis of gambling among older adults a worthwhile pursuit. Drawing from the Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand et al. in J Pers Soc Psychol 85(4):756–767, 2003), we discuss the role of passion in shaping gambling behaviours, and the implications of a harmonious or obsessive passion on the benefits and risks to two distinct generations of older adults. Based on their generational attributes, we posit that members of the Silent Generation (those born between 1925 and 1942) stand to gain more from the benefits of recreational gambling, but also stand lose more from problem gambling, than their children’s generation, the Baby Boomers (those born between 1942 and 1964). Preventative strategies to assist problem gambling seniors, along with recommendations for further research, are discussed.

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Alberghetti, A., Collins, P.A. A Passion for Gambling: A Generation-Specific Conceptual Analysis and Review of Gambling Among Older Adults in Canada. J Gambl Stud 31, 343–358 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-013-9425-2

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Keywords

  • Older adults
  • Generational cohorts
  • Gambling industry
  • Recreational gambling
  • Problem gambling
  • Benefits
  • Consequences
  • Vulnerabilities