This Is Not Fun Anymore: An Older Adult’s Story About Problem Gambling

Here I am, 69 years old, sitting in front of a slot machine, and I have been playing for four hours now. This isn’t any fun anymore. As a matter of fact, I have just put in another $20 just to see if I can get my money back so I can pay this month’s bills.For the past year, I have withdrawn so much money from my bank account so fast after my monthly pension arrives that I live on my credit cards. I feel sick and frustrated, not to mention embarrassed and worried about how I am going to get myself out of this financial debt. At this time, I just don’t feel I have the energy to find a job to try to make things right.

When I had my heart attack and slowed down, then retired from my job, I had no idea what to do with myself. Volunteer work or joining a senior center was not for me. I ended up gambling because I had done it occasionally over the past few years and liked it. Well, as it turns out, I like it too much. It’s too easy – I can come here whenever I want, stay as long as I want, talk to people I know, and I used to sometimes win money. But now, I hardly ever win anything.

I keep my financial trouble and the long hours I play here a secret from my daughter because I don’t want her to be angry with me, or worse, disappointed in me. I lie to her about where I am and what I am doing, despite that I’ve always been proud of being an honest person.

There has got to be a way to stop doing this over and over…

The older gentleman in this story has developed a problem with gambling. His description of his situation reveals several signs of a problem, including: gambling more in an effort to get back the money he has lost; hiding information from a close family member; being unable to pay the bills with his monthly income; thinking of stopping gambling; and feeling regret about his gambling.

While it seems that he is aware of his problem, he can get “stuck” feeling this way for a long time before taking actions to resolve his problems.

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