ADVERTISEMENT

Seniors being caught in the gambling web

Several years ago, when I managed a couple of apartment buildings for low-income seniors, the Erie County Department of Senior Services decided to stop providing seniors with transportation to casinos. I was so in favor of this, it caused one of my family members surprise and, I think, disappointment in my lack of support for the seniors and how it greatly influenced their right to choose their form of entertainment.

I saw the writing on the wall and my concerns were reiterated in a March 23 News article on the topic.

I saw personally what gambling did to many of my tenants and how their lives were affected when their already low income was negatively affected by their frequent losses at the casino. Sure the ride was nice, the food was good and the outing was fun – when they won – which made it all the more addictive. But what about when they lost?

It seems so sad that a population possibly affected by boredom due to the loss of a role in society, use of medications that may influence judgment and grief over the loss of loved ones could be lured into the gambling addiction so easily.

Fortunately, the older gentleman referenced in the article had a family member to come to his rescue. Even with that help for his future, his past behavior caused him the loss of his savings, monthly income and house.

I’m not advocating that casinos be “off limits” to seniors, or anyone for that matter. I’m just saying that those in power should not be allowed to make it so easy for seniors, especially, to be caught in the gambling web, which could lead to addiction. We make an effort to protect the elderly from other forms of abuse. Why not this one?

Rose Marie Hall

West Seneca