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Q&A Gambling Webinar

Excerpts below are from the NASW Specialty Practice Sections (SPS) live webinar on gambling. SPS members can download the on demand audio recording or read the transcript by visiting the NASW Section page for details. CE credit is also available.

Q: Do you find that [some] older adults gamble for socialization reasons?

A: We know that being in social settings and interacting with others is very helpful for them to maintain an active lifestyle, and even for cognitive reasons. So with older adults you know the “don’t gamble” message is really not a good one to subscribe to, you really want to talk about going out with friends. They will go to a casino casino, they will gamble, but what other things do they also do with friends so that they have a well balanced life?

Q: What can

you say about fantasy sports, for example, Fantasy football?

A: When you look into that, find out how much money is being spent; some [fantasy sports] have an upfront fee

for the whole season… And others, you have to put more money into it every time, every week, and so looking from a harm reduction perspective, is there a way if someone chooses to continue to do that, they limit the cost of the Football Fantasy activity altogether?

Q: Is online gambling addiction harder to detect and treat?

A: Not as much is known about it, we are seeing that it can be grouped with more college gambling, students can do it in their dorm room from their laptop… With the U.S. now looking to legalize Internet gambling, who knows which direction it's going to go. Not highly researched yet, and some online gambling can lead to online addiction, and then it gets very difficult to tease that out. So I wish I knew of more research, but it's definitely an untapped area, and one we need to keep our eye on.