For millions of Canadians, buying lottery tickets, betting on the horses
or feeding the slots is nothing more than a fool’s tax that
raises billions for provincial treasuries. For many others, however, gambling is a serious soul-shattering addiction that's tough to be beat.
And the older you get, the bigger the potential problem, research suggests. Some 68% of Canadian seniors gamble, and around 2.1% have moderate to severe gambling-related problems, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
Seniors gamble for the same reasons — to have fun, make money, curiosity — that drive most casino visitors.
However, with much more time on their hands, some older people use gambling as a way to
escape their everyday problems: loneliness, the loss of a spouse, or the
stressful demands of distant family.