Growing Old Gambling

Upcoming Air Times

With more time and financial resources, experts say Baby Boomers are more at-risk to become caught in the grip of out-of-control gambling. The original NET television special, Growing Old Gambling examines the addiction and the consequences for older adults.

"You can make the argument that the generation that is most susceptible for develop gambling as a problematic behavior is the baby boomers," said Don Feeney, research advisor for the National Council on Problem Gambling.

In the Midwest, gamblers have easy access to both state and tribal run casinos, plus lottery, keno and sports betting. Seniors often gamble as a social activity, and when the wagering becomes a problem, recouping financial losses can be difficult, if not impossible.

"I pretty much started dipping into my 401k at age 59 and a half. So, I've had a couple of years where I've been able to drain that account, which probably had close to $500,000. I also drained an annuity and an IRA. So, probably close to $750,000, if not more," said Elizabeth, a 63-year-old recovering problem gambler from Lincoln, Neb.

Growing Old Gambling focuses on the growth of problem gambling for Baby Boomers. This 30-minute special features personal stories from those who’ve suffered emotional and financial consequences, as well as guidance from leading experts in crisis intervention and the treatment of gambling addictions in older adults.

Companion Program

Featuring cutting-edge science on youth gaming/gambling addiction, this documentary takes viewers inside the brain of an online gamer and online gambler.