October 5, 2023 2 min read


ESRI Publishes a Report on Problem Gambling in Ireland

The ESRI believes that around 3.3% of the adults in the country experience problem gambling

A few weeks after Ireland’s Institute of Public Health (IPH) and TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland launched a probe into underage gambling, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) tried to raise awareness of the concerning problem gambling rates in the country.

As outlined in the ESRI’s recent Measures of Problem Gambling in Ireland report, the issue might be much more serious than the government believes. Commissioned by the team behind the establishment of Ireland’s new Gambling Authority, the research probed into the severity of the problem.

Based on interviews with 2,850 anonymous adult respondents, the ESRI said that it can be assumed that 1 in 30 adults in the country has a problem with gambling.  This result’s validity was double-checked by the ESRI, which noted that the figure is in line with national gambling revenue figures.

This percentage would put the total number of adults experiencing problem gambling at 130,000 people, or 3.3% of the total adult population. In addition, the ESRI mentioned that further data shows that 7.1% of the respondents exhibited moderate signs of problem gambling, while 15% admitted to having had a negative gambling experience at least once.

Many of the problem players would wager €1,000 per month or more, meaning that a quarter of all gambled money is spent by harmed individuals. The ESRI also pointed out that young men with lesser education continue to be the most vulnerable social segment.

ESRI’s Study Raises Awareness of the Issue

Anne Marie Caulfield, who is set to lead the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, shared her thoughts on ESRI’s report, saying that the public doesn’t realize the full extent of the problem. She thanked the ESRI for “shining a light” on the matter and helping everyone understand that gambling harm should not be underestimated.

Caulfield added that problem gambling is a serious issue since it not only harms the individual but can also have an impact on their family and loved ones. She added that the Authority welcomes this new report and will use the insights as it seeks to introduce measures to protect consumers in Ireland from harm.

Ireland’s new regulator hopes to start work in 2023, although it still needs to secure certain approvals.

Earlier this year, the government also discussed a proposed gambling ad ban.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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