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Study: Older Gamblers are Healthier

10 September 2004

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Connecticut Now: "Researchers at Yale University have found that older gamblers are healthier than their younger counterparts, who have higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse, bankruptcy, depression and incarceration.

"The reason may have nothing to do with the relative health benefits of a slot machine, instant lottery ticket or bingo game, however.

"'Older folks who are getting out into the community and remaining active ... are healthier and tend to stay healthy,' said Rani A. Desai, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. 'You cannot conclude out of this research that gambling makes you healthy. What you can conclude is that [older] gamblers are healthier.'

"Still, the Yale researchers noted that for people 65 and older, 'recreational gambling ... may even possibly provide some beneficial effect.' Gambling, they found, 'may allow for increased socialization, community activity and travel, which may in turn be reflected in more positive ratings of health.'

"…Desai and her colleagues said more research needs to be done into the impact of the rapid expansion of casinos, slot machines and lotteries across much of the United States. Connecticut's instant ticket lottery and its 13,000 slot machines are among the most profitable in North America…"

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