eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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vol. 35
Original paper

Gambling in retirement. Perspectives of problem and non-problem female gamblers in terms of awareness of risk and consequences

Bernadeta Lelonek-Kuleta

Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2022; 35 (3): 229-244
Online publish date: 2023/02/23
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Due to the negative connotations of gambling in Poland and the specific roles assigned to older women, we were interested in how they perceive their involvement in gambling, whether they perceive the inherent risks and how this perception differs depending on the intensity of problem gambling.

Material and methods
A qualitative study was conducted among 34 retired problem and non-problem female gamblers. In-depth interviews were conducted with the women, which were then subjected to thematic analysis.

The older women, both with and without gambling problems, perceived gambling differently, with both groups tending to disregard the negative consequences of gambling. The female seniors in the two groups exhibited extreme attitudes, from non-problem gamblers being fully aware of the dangers, to women with gambling problems completely negating them. In general, female problem gamblers showed a greater awareness of the harms related to gambling but were unwilling to seek help.

Difficulties in seeking help may be due to cultural conditions that entail numerous requirements regarding the activities of women in retirement. These requirements apply to the passing on of so-called practical wisdom born of life experience and, frequently, providing care for grandchildren. Gambling is stigmatising and embarrassing. The literature on the subject confirms that women, regardless of age, tend to self-help gambling problems.

Gambling among older women is a taboo subject they are reluctant to address. This is an important risk factor due to the tendency to postpone seeking professional help when the gambling disorder develops. Gambling problems apply to all age groups, and preventive measures should be tailored to the needs of individual groups.


Women, Gambler, Gambling consequences, Senior, Gambling disorder

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