Characteristics of Problem Gamblers 56 Years of Age or Older: A Statewide Study of Casino Self-Excluders

Lia Nower, Alex Blaszczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Gambling among older adults appears to be increasing, though little is known about the characteristics of older adult problem gamblers. The purpose of this study was to compare older adults to younger and middle-aged adults in a cohort of problem gamblers participating in a state-administered casino self-exclusion program. Self-reported problem gamblers (N = 1,601) who voluntary banned themselves from Missouri casinos from 2001 to 2003 were categorized by age as younger adults (ages 21 to 35; n = 490), middle-aged adults (ages 36 to 55; n = 950), and older adults (ages 56 to 79; n = 161), and were compared with respect to demographic variables, gambling participation, and reasons for self-exclusion. Older adult self-excluders typically began gambling in midlife, experienced gambling problems around age 60, reported preferences for nonstrategic forms of gambling, and identified fear of suicide as the primary reason for self-excluding. Implications for intervention, prevention and treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


  • casino self-exclusion
  • older adults
  • pathological gambling
  • problem gambling
  • seniors

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