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The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention.

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Research & Analysis

The following Responsible Gambling Council research and analysis is available for download. When sharing or quoting information contained in these reports, please cite the report, its authors, and its publication date. Please contact us if you have any questions about the appropriate use of this material.

Not all RGC Centre research is posted here for public use due to contractual obligation and confidentiality.

Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Older Adults in Ontario

Jamie Wiebe (Responsible Gambling Council) and Eric Single (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse) | Nov 1, 2004

This report presents survey results from 2001 Ontario gambling prevalence study Measuring Gambling and Problem Gambling in Ontario [link] (Wiebe, Single, & Falkowski-Ham, 2001), but narrows its focus to Ontario adults 60 years and over. Results suggest that gambling and subsequently, problem gambling, is less prevalent among adults over 60 compared to the general population. A majority of older adults (73.5%) had participated in some type of gambling activity in the past year, with the most popular activity being lotteries (27.8%). Weekly participation rates for this age group were well below three per cent.

Patterns suggest that older adults tend to gravitate to chance-based gambling with low personal engagement but high potential payout. The most common benefit attributed to gambling was winning money (33.9%), but gambling also appears to serve an important social function. The vast majority (93.6%) did not experience any gambling-related problems, with 2.1% having moderate to severe problems.

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