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Older Women Lured By Pokies

20 April 2004

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by (New Zealand) Press: ``More older women are falling prey to the pokies – and potentially frittering away their life savings.

``Figures released to The Press by the Gambling Problem Helpline reveal women older than 60 make up an increasing number of people seeking help for gambling problems.

``So far this year, they make up 7.9 per cent of all callers, compared with 6.6 per cent last year and only 5.3 per cent the year before.

``The figures concern problem gambling experts as elderly gamblers tend to spend more and have less chance of paying off their debts.

``John Stansfield, chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation, said the over 60-year-olds who contacted the foundation for face-to-face counselling had spent on average $1921 in the previous four weeks.

```There's not many ways to get it back either,' Stansfield said. 'If you or I took a tumble we can get up tomorrow to a job and earn our way back. If all you've got left is a pension what chance do you have to recoup it?'…"

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