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Problem Gambling Among Seniors in Singapore

While Singapore only has two casinos, it has two of the largest casinos worldwide. Of the many Singapore gamblers, over half elderly people. This demonstrates that those in our esteemed ageing community desperately need to undergo gambling addiction care.

Gaming issues in a rapidly evolving environment can be partially attributed to difficulties associated with later life changes, for example retirement, the absence of opportunities for socialisation, the loss of a companion and friends and chronic illness which can lead them to play and other habits.

Gambling as Culture

Though play addiction is a common issue, it is definitely prevalent in Singapore, where there are numerous avenues for gambling.

During the weekly government sanctioned betting events, long queues can be seen across the island. During every soccer or sports season, numerous players will bet on their favourite teams in order to win some side cash. Gambling even takes place casually at social events such as during funeral services, serving as a general pastime of the elderly. As such, gambling is clearly a cultural practice in Singapore

While a significant number of Singaporeans are encouraged to stop working at the age of 62, their life expectancy has risen over the years to one of the world’s highest, the majority of older people have time to burn while their children are occupied with the job. Rooms for jackpots have gained great popularity as have a spot to pass the time comfortably. In view of the long working hours of the rooms, there are practically never ending possibilities for spending some time.

Gambling Opportunities

As Singapore has opened two large casinos as well as offering online channels, elderly people tend to visit the golf clubs in the city, where air-conditioning and convenient seating and free food are offered.

While seniors tend less technology-friendly and more careful about online scams, they are less likely to play online and can miss the entry fee by going through the main casinos. In comparison, Jackpot machines operate on a very easy-to-use interface that allows them to be far more analog-oriented.

Crucially, the jackpot room has become the space where most of their social lives take place. For many, it has got a particular significance. And when play begins to present issues, this actual benefit makes it more difficult for elders to extricate themselves from even when they are in addiction.

The Dangerous Slide

However, the privilege of being in a jackpot is comes at an enormous price. Mounting losses make it more difficult to go away and when things get very difficult. The gambling odds in favour of the house are immutable in the long run. As players begin to feel the effect of their defeats but want to play to win, they end up running out of ways to regenerate their funds. In particular, this is valid for retirees who often eventually wind up in unavoidable debts on fixed incomes.

Fewer ways to recover losses make older people much more vulnerable to problem gaming results. Like any addiction, playing games can become a way of avoiding boredom, solitude or depression. Gambling may be behind the troubling spike in suicides among our elderly, while others have to sell their property in order to cover their debts. Accumulated debts from daily gambling is known to be one of the key causes of the phenomenon.

Silent Addicts

While the government has been actively promoting social services targeting gambling and provided free hotlines and centres in Singapore for gambling addiction,  some older folks do not know of the treatment services available. The social stigma of our traditional culture makes those who suffer feel the need to be hidden about their problems. The first step towards treatment needs a lot of bravery and motivation.

If an elder of your family becomes a victim of the addictive methods of the casino industry and you do not know what action to take, our caring team of addiction experts will clarify your choices and help you develop a strategy to treat your loved one cautiously and effectively. We enforce a strict policy of privacy, so you can be sure of protection for your privacy.