A Yale University study shows that older gamblers arehealthier than non-gamblers of the same age. They have lowerrates of alcoholism, depression and yes, even bankruptcy.

Diane Scarponi quotes epidemiologist Rani Desai as saying,”There’s this whole concept of healthy aging?that folks whocontinue to remain engaged in activity, especially in thecommunity and in social activities, stay healthier longer,so I think this is a reflection of that. It’s not thatgambling makes you healthy, it’s that gamblers are healthier.”

Desai started his study with the theory that health problemswould be greater in gamblers over 65, since losses would hitpeople harder if they?re on fixed incomes. But he discoveredthe opposite is true. Joe Haley, 71, uses an oxygen tankbecause he has a rare lung disease, but he still goes to acasino about once a month to play video poker and blackjack.He says, “My opinion is a lot of people are lonely and a lotof people we know who come here will tell you that. Theylike to play a little and chitchat with the person next tothem.”

The gambling industry takes care of its older gamblers byoffering them freebies and trips, and even provides needledisposals for diabetics in restrooms and heartdefibrillators on casino floors.

Expect the unexpected when you practicegettingin the gap.

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