Http: Ethics

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Phoenix Arizona, a thriving senior citizen haven has invested heavily into the casino business even though it is only a few hours away from Laughlin or Las Vegas, Nevada. The reason is quite simple as there are logistical reasons why senior citizens choose to remain in town instead of traveling the few hours it takes to reach these gambling meccas in the southwest badlands of the United States. Encircled by large and most elaborately designed and operated Native American owned casinos in New Mexico, California and within Arizona itself, senior citizens have opted to visit and stay at the local casinos for several reasons that draws them to the gambling table or salon.

Many people suspect that this gaming venture was designed and targeted for the seniors because it has been found to be so addictive and compulsive in nature for some. Thus casino developers are making it accessible and very tempting to go visit and spend a few retirement dollars at the gaming table or slot machine. Universally, we can only assume that this is true for other states inundated with locally owned casinos as well. A 2003 study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) revealed that casino enterprises do not actually target the elderly for their demographics of the ideal customer.

In fact, the study reveals that "the elderly "generally exercise better money management and experience proportionately fewer gambling problems than the general population." Studies also reflects that data gathered "do not support the view that casino gambling is a major threat to the elderly, preying on the aged and leading them to destructive gambling practices." Another study reveals that "The primary motivation for gambling with elderly women is excitement and entertainment.

… Money, reliance on source of income and addiction do not appear to be motivators for this group. As such, problem gambling is not expected to be a problem with elderly women gamblers." Thus it is fair to say that some studies revealed that there is no evidence that casino gambling activities threaten the elderly and that of all their behaviors support the fact they are well aware of the danger signs of addictions or other problematic behaviors.

It is also reasonable to say that those elderly who choose to gamble, these studies show that many of them come to the casinos for the social interaction, fun and entertainment, and with minor emphasis on gambling illustrating their primary motivation is the get out of the house socialization rather than focusing on gambling. Seeing this as an opportunity to "go out and have fun" kind of day, it makes sense that this group spends there time and disposable funds inside a casino with their friends and enjoy their remaining time on earth as having the privilege and freedom to do as they please and controlling their own budget, their own time and their own personal freedom restricted by only taking the time and money to make such a visit to this place.

Sources: B. Grant Stitt et al., "Gambling Among Older Adults," Experimental Aging Research 29 (2003): 189-203. John Tarras et al., "The Profiles and Motivations of Elderly Women Gamblers," Gaming Research amp; Review Journal 5, no. 1: 33-46. Janet Hope and Linda Havir, "You Bet They're Having Fun! Older Americans and Casino Gambling," Journal of Aging Studies 16, no. 2 (May 2002): 177-97. Harrah's Survey 2003: Profile of the American Casino Gambler (Las Vegas: Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.), 18.

National Opinion Research Center, et al., Gambling Impact and Behavior Study, report prepared for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (Chicago: University of Chicago, April 1, 1999), 9. State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment (Washington, D.C.: American Gaming Association, 2000).