TAKE THE POWER AWAY FROM THE CASINO – BE AN INFORMED, KNOWLEDGEABLE & AWARE GAMBLER!
Are you a member of AARP? I am. I also receive the AARP Bulletin. Now, I understand the reading demographic is 50+ and education is important for AARP’s readers, but, this article doesn’t tell the whole story and makes us Baby Boomers out to be helpless – DO YOU WANT TO BE CONSIDERED HELPLESS?
This month, AARP included an article called “The Casino Trap.” It’s theme –> the casino industry’s aggressive marketing of older patrons. It’s opening image – a coin slot machine from around 1960! OMG! Why not show a typewriter instead of a computer! We seniors today are smarter, more mobile, more fun, more energetic, healthier, more sociable (we can be a bunch of “twits”) and frankly here to stay.
Alright, here are 4 quotes from the article and NETG’s response:
“In 2014, 101 million Americans visited casinos in over 40 states – nearly half were 50 or older.” Well of course 50% of the visitors are over 50 years old. 50% are also under 50 years old! And who has fewer children in the house, more money and time to visit – 50+! Look at the fuss about millennials not going to gamble. Don’t blame the interest on the 50+ generations on the casinos, it’s just simple math!
“Older adults are a desirable demographic.” Newsflash – all adults are desirable demographics!” An entire theme of worry at the G2E Convention last month was about how millennials are not interested in slot machines.
“They stage free daytime entertainment such as polka dancing, magic shows, and live Golden Oldies shows.” How old is the author of this article? I’m in my 60’s and I have Beatles & Ozzy, Usher & Adele and everything in between on my smart phone playlist. And, the last magician I saw, comped, was Criss Angel at Foxwoods – and he “ain’t your grandmama’s magician!”
“Using MRI scanners, [Hans Breiter, Mass Gen.] found that in subjects playing slots, the brain’s neural circuits fired in a way that was similar to those using cocaine.” What research has also shown is that the same MRI findings show the brain fires in the same way” from sugar & overeating, alcohol consumption, pornography, driving fast – basically anything we as humans can get a huge rush from and become addicted to.
I believe in citing the whole story. I also believe in being responsible for one’s own leisure or pleasurable activities. I believe we need to be informed, both by resources around us and industry professionals instead of blindly looking to be the victim of Casinos.
The the article refers to offers that casinos use to “target older patrons” – but those comped meals, rooms, and free play” are the same offered to all demographics, tweeked to fit whatever age group they are looking to entice. It’s called Business Marketing, same tactics to sell cars, and prescription pain killers on TV – all at the time when they think that particular age group is watching.
The bottom line is we have to be responsible for our own life – and if it is about helping those older who need help monitoring their activities, it is our responsibility to jump in and help.
- Don’t want a casino in Tiverton, vote against it.
- Don’t want another slot parlor in Massachusetts, vote against it.
- Worried if you or a friend has an addiction, take the Quiz from Gambler’s Anonymous, or help a friend. Click here for the quiz.
- BE AWARE that freebies are not really free! They are similar to coupons and sales at any store. Any rewards club – airlines, supermarkets, beverage chains – all offer extra perks for your loyalty. Casinos are no different.
- Help friends & family who seem to be struggling with possible addiction.
More and more casinos are instituting measures to help gamblers control their bankroll or stay away completely. Massachusetts is a leading example of personal gaming monitoring with “PlayMyWay.” To find out more, go to our post entitled “Plainridge Park Casino Officially Launches “PlayMyWay” Today!”
Casinos will put you on a “banned list” if you feel you can’t stay away. They will watch to see if you are on their property and nicely escort you away.
Take the power out of the hands of the casinos. Use your comps wisely. Go with a plan of how much you can possible spend, and what time you need to leave.
Remember what happened to the “Pinball Wizard” in the end? Don’t end up like that.