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Ukrainian pensioners are not used to betting, but many are not against the gambling legalization

Many older people support gambling legalization, while few would risk gambling on their pensions.

These are the results of a nationwide sociological survey of Ukrainians’ attitudes to gambling, carried out by InfoSapiens and UGC. We will deal with details of the study below.

Gambling has long become a popular leisure activity in numerous countries with open market economies; in particular, this form of entertainment is popular among older people. Of course, such leisure activity is more common in developed countries: statistically, on average, 60% of people who gamble in developed countries are adults.

In Ukraine, widespread casinos and slot machine halls are relatively recent, along with the establishment of market relations. The very first systemic gambling studies began only this year.

For instance, the results of the first independent public opinion survey “Attitudes of Ukrainians to Gambling” show that only 1.7% of Ukrainians aged 55 or older would like to gamble for money. There are several reasons for this.

First, we should take into account the worldview of the older generation, since gambling had been banned and denounced ideologically for decades in the Soviet Union, and the lottery remained an administrative way to replenish the budget and cover a number of public needs.

From the psychological point of view, the older a person is, the more difficult it is to change his habits and lifestyle. By the age of 60, people have already formed passions and addictions, and gambling is not among their top priorities.

Second, there is a socio-economic aspect. As a rule, Ukrainian pensioners, unlike their colleagues from developed countries, are not rich, to say the least. Their income is meagre, and they often cannot afford to pay for basic needs, let alone entertainment.

Third, the older generation does not use the Internet much, which means that few people aged 55+ have access to a quick way of entertainment on online platforms.

Though not an exhaustive list, these factors are enough to note that Ukrainian pensioners are reluctant to gamble. That is why the idea of pensioners spending all their money in casinos or slot machine halls is a myth.

At the same time, according to a study published by UGC, 37.5% of Ukrainians aged 55+ support one or more arguments in favour of the gambling legalization and want the State to control the market.

That is why I urge you to be careful with disinformation directed against the reform aimed at reducing the share of the country’s shadow economy and turn gambling into a rational, profitable, predictable and controlled sphere of economic and social life.
Viktoriya Zakrevskaya