Senior Citizen Gambling Addiction - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Senior Citizen Gambling Addiction

More senior citizens are betting big at casinos across the county, running the risk of losing everything.

Whether its catching a plane to sin city, or jumping on a bus to a nearby casino from Amarillo. It's easier than ever for seniors to place a bet and potentially lose everything.

An independent study shows that out of nearly 850 seniors, 70% had gambled in the last year, and about 11% of those were considered at risk players. Risking more than a hundred dollars on a single bet.

Amarillo senior Charles Boykin says, "It has become a problem. A lot of the times it gives the senior citizens something to do. They draw people in, people sit there and lose everything that they have."

Boykin says he has seen people betting big first hand, hoping to hit the jackpot, but walking away empty handed. Experiences that have changed the way he takes chances when he's in the hot seat.

"We slowed down since we've retired, because we don't want to be some of those that give away our life savings, and we don't want to affect our retirement" Boykin says.

Boykin isn't the only senior playing it safe. A Amarillo senior says she loves to gamble, but she has made up her mind that she wont become one of the 3 to 9 million people in the US, struggling with this addiction.

"Ya know, I did not do this until I could afford it. And I have sense enough to quit when I know I shouldn't spend any more," Gracie Haddox Lack says.

Since 1995 casino revenue across the U.S. has jumped from 16 billion to more than 32 billion last year.

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