Could Gambling Increase Happiness Levels

August 03, 2016 1:03 PM

Gambling has been a form of entertainment that people have turned to for many reasons. The overwhelming majority use this for entertainment purposes only, but others turn to gambling as a result of addiction issues. The positive aspect of gambling is that recent studies have shown it to increase the overall levels of happiness, especially in relation to seniors struggling with feelings of exclusion, but also with others who find it increases the sense of pleasure they experience.

It is documented well that when you visit a casino, you will see a larger number of seniors on the machines, often laughing and genuinely enjoying themselves. Most play strictly for entertainment and play lower limits and within budgets.  In other studies, the researchers believe that playing slots has had positive effects towards seniors mental health as it provides them a social outlet, helps them to remain active improve their memory, depression, feelings of loneliness, ability to concentrate and skills relating to problem-solving. This is a critical aspect of helping those in that age category to help reduce the odds of developing dementia, and the added benefit is they often develop a social network that can lead to support on multiple levels.

What was impressive about the results of the happiness study, was that those feelings of happiness were reduced shortly after they stopped gambling. It was proven that there were no lasting effects of gambling, whether it was playing slots or bingo. What was shocking was that the general level of happiness was dropped substantially inside of ten minutes after concluding their gaming activities, and normal levels had returned within thirty minutes on average.

Findings from the Study Show Increased Happiness

The study was focused on three residents in a senior’s home, many from a rural background. They applied a four component to analyse the responses relating to happiness and how it changes or was stimulated while gambling. The results that all those studied showed a percentage of higher happiness. This was confirmed with several assessments to follow up on these results, ranging in length between 10 and 30 minutes each. The conclusion was that nothing was gained long term, but did show that gambling provided a more instant gratification.

The results concluded that more senior homes should allow for this type of activity, whether it be only or by providing trips to local casinos. This applies in particular to long-term homes as depression and seclusion are often felt at higher levels. While it would be important to monitor activity to avoid addiction issues, it is clear that gambling has a positive effect on those who are elderly and in need of an increased social outlet. Happiness is described as something that brings pleasure to an individual, whether it being part of a group or something experiences in solace. No matter how one looks at it, it is evident from this study, and from observation within a casino, that happiness is a big part of the equation with seniors who gamble.

Online Gambling Outlets for Seniors

One form of gambling, or should we say outlet, is online gambling. While some seniors would find this intimidating if unfamiliar with the internet, it is still an excellent option for those immobilized and possibly unable to visit local land-based casino facilities or those who suffer from anxiety and uncomfortable with such an environment. By visiting websites such as, elderly are able to gain an insight into the world of online gaming, educate themselves of how it operates as well as understand that many of the games they tend to enjoy are easily accessed online. When you consider that gambling improves many of the alienating conditions that already feel on a daily basis, having another outlet such as this is ideal for their mental health. Of course, this would need to be monitored to ensure only what can be afforded is spent on this style of pleasure, it is still an excellent choice for their long-term mental health.

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