Nest Egg Gambled Away

According to recent study's, in a year's timeframe, seventy percent of older americans said they'd participated in some kind of gambling and sometime the stakes can be dangerouly high.

The age old stereotype says it is men who are drawn in by the chance to make a quick score, but women too are flocking to casinos and placing their life savings on the line with devastating consequences.

Janis Bridge of Seattle Washington said what started out as a way to cope, turned into crisis.

"I started gambling at the time when my marriage started to break up. It started slowly."

"I started going about once a week and I was winning a lot at the very beginning, I was pretty good at it and then things went sour and I started losing."

"As I lost more money, I started going more often, because I was going to try to win back the money that i'd lost. I lost touch with, friends and family. I lied to my children and missed out on a lot of my younger son's school activities."

Her son Zach remembers feeling a role reversal.

Zach said, "It affected me emotionally. She's so ashamed of it that she'll just lie to tell you that she's doing something else when she's actually going to the casino."

"She'll make up anything and it just makes it a culture of distrust in the family."

At this point there are only two states that do not have gambling within their boundaries, Hawaii and Utah.

Al Gesregan counsels compulsive gamblers and says he is seeing more and more older women with fixed incomes who are landing in financial trouble due to gambling

Al Gesregan said, "What is happening is it is an escape mechanism where they have these negative feelings and it could be loneliness , it could be boredom, it could be depression."

"Once they get to these places all those problems go away for that period of time, they disappear, the results? devastating!" Gesregan stated.

Janis Bridge continued, "I found that I was using my credit cards to the maximum, cashing checks until I was no longer able to cash checks, using the ATM machine until my money was all gone and I couldn t get any more money and at the point when you leave the casino without a penny! I think you realize that you can't stop!"

Her gambling addiction cost her a career as a physician with a six figure income and wiped out most of her savings at her low point she even contemplated suicide.

Bridge's said, "I think the thing people need to know about women gamblers is in general, they, they gamble to escape and usually it's from, you know, problems in their life - loneliness and they go to escape into the casino."