- Legal States
Luke Thompson February 10, 2022 2 min read
New Report Says There Are 12,000 Problem Gamblers in Ireland
Is Ireland doing enough to protect gamblers from coming in the way of harm? This is the question pondered in a new report by the Health Research Board, which examined the gambling habits of people aged 15 and older.
According to the report, there have been shortcomings in the way the country addresses problem gambling. Some 12,000 people are problem gamblers and 35,000 more are in the moderate risk category.
The report also looked at the busiest segments, with horse and greyhound races at the forefront. The people who spend the most would head to bookies in person or bet online. According to the report, the age of problem gamblers is most likely to be anywhere between 25 to 34 who are either unemployed or live in an area with poor economic prospects. The report continued:
“Almost everyone who gambled in a bookmaker’s shop or online did so by placing a bet on a sports event. When lottery activities are excluded, men are more likely than women to gamble.”Health Research Board,
The most likely problem gamblers are also men, the survey establishes, and it further establishes a link between risky gambling behavior and abuse of substances such as alcohol, smoking or drugs.
Numbers of Overall Gamblers Fall, Problem Gamblers Still There
Men are five times more likely to have a gambling problem. The survey similarly admits that the overall number of gamblers has plummeted to 1.9 million compared to 2.9 million in 2014. The report reads:
“Problem gambling is associated with living in a deprived area and being unemployed. There is a marked correlation between problem gambling and substance use – drug use, alcohol use and/or smoking.”Health Research Board,
However, those who live in poorer areas are still disproportionately at risk of developing a variety of disorders that are directly linked with gambling and gambling-related harm. According to the findings, one in two people gambled in the past year, spending money on a variety of products.
The report also serves as a good predictive mechanism as it estimates that 90,000 gamblers are low-risk. Ireland is looking to establish a new gambling regulator which could begin to address some of the issues that problem gamblers face. The Health Research Board has called for access to treatment services that specialize in helping gambling addicts in the future.