Ireland’s gambling problem much worse than feared, with addicts spending over €1,000 a month, report finds

Ireland’s gambling problem much worse than feared, with addicts spending over €1,000 a month, report finds

New research from ESRI finds one in 30 adults have a problem with gambling.

In Ireland, problem gambling is ten times more common than previously believed, with one in every thirty adults reporting bad experiences related to betting.
A recent study conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) revealed that individuals with gambling disorders were typically expending over €1,000 on gambling per month. ‏

According to the research, problem gamblers account for a sizable portion of the industry's earnings, and the prevalence of problem gambling appears to be far higher than previously thought.

According to the ESRI, those who bet and experience "multiple negative effects" account for nearly half of the annual €5.5 billion spent on gambling.

However, there are still concerns that the actual scope of the issue in Ireland may have been underestimated in spite of the new research.

The study has "serious implications for understanding the role that gambling plays in Irish life," according to the ESRI.
"It is difficult to measure problem gambling precisely, but we are confident that one in thirty adults more accurately reflects the true situation than previous estimates," stated Professor Pete Lunn, head of the Behavioral Research Unit at the ESRI.
This means that 130,000 adults in Ireland suffer from compulsive gambling, indicating a far wider problem than previously believed.

The most recent Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey, which was conducted in 2019–2020, included information on gambling.

Compared to the ESRI's estimates, the incidence of problem gambling was estimated to be ten times lower.

According to the ESRI, people were only likely to admit the extent of their activity when they were promised anonymity because of the stigma associated with gambling and its nature.

According to the study, over 3 percent of adult Irish people have gambling problems. Although they did not meet the criteria for "problematic gambling," another 7% of people reported having gambling-related problems. "Unfortunately, we may still be underestimating the true prevalence of [problem gambling], even though our estimates are much higher than previous ones," the ESRI report said.

Problem gamblers "unsurprisingly" report spending significantly more on betting products than non-gamblers, according to the research.

Problem gamblers reported spending, on average, €12,000 annually.

This is undoubtedly a very expensive purchase in comparison to available cash. According to the report, the weekly expenditure for individuals with moderate evidence of problematic gambling was €70, for those with some evidence it was €42, and for other gamblers it was €11.

"The conclusion is that even though we only identified 3.3 percent of adults as having problematic gambling, this group is estimated to be responsible for 28 percent of gambling spending, with a combination of individuals with problematic gambling and those exhibiting moderate evidence of it accounting for 47 percent of total spending."

According to the study, "they would like to gamble less than they currently do, indicating that the current gambling landscape may induce widespread difficulties associated with self-control" was stated by two-thirds of problem gamblers.

Families of problem gamblers "also have worse mental health than average," and problem gamblers themselves have "substantially worse" mental health than non-gamers.

People under 50 have higher rates of problem gambling, according to the ESRI. The highest rate is found among those in their 30s.

Women are less likely than men to suffer from problem gambling, and those with higher education levels are also less likely to suffer from it. The ESRI did note that there were less disparities between genders and educational backgrounds than previously believed.

According to the research, problem gambling is not primarily attributed to an individual's character or upbringing."Wide availability of opportunities to gamble and exposure to gambling advertising" was cited as the main cause by more people.

The CEO-designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority, Anne Marie Caulfield, stated, "The true extent of problem gambling in Ireland is hidden from public view and the importance of this ESRI study, in shining a light on the extent of gambling harm in Ireland, cannot be underestimated."

"The effects of problem gambling extend beyond the gambler to include their friends and family.

"The authority will find great value in the insights gained from this and other studies on gambling in Ireland as we carry out our work in raising awareness and educating the public and implementing additional measures, like the exclusion register, to protect against gambling harm."

The state minister for law reform acknowledged that the existing gambling laws need to be updated because they are "not fit for purpose" and are out of date.

According to Minister James Browne, who is presently pushing new gambling laws through the Dáil, the legislation has advanced past the committee stage.

Minister Browne stated that while the Department of Justice is putting out legislation, it is crucial to address problem gambling from a health perspective.

"Our legal system is wholly antiquated. These date back to the 1930s and 1950s. Minister Browne declared, "They're not fit for purpose."

The minister stated that new gambling legislation is a top priority due to the readily available gambling options on smartphones.

"The truth is that every 12-year-old has a casino in their back pocket when they go out." The minister stated on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Thursday that "this is urgent legislation, and we are treating it as urgent legislation." Regarding the new ESRI data on problem gambling, the minister responded that it validated what was already thought to be a significant problem in Ireland.

Minister Browne stated, "I think what these hard figures show is what we believed to be the extent of this very serious addiction."

He continued, "We'll definitely review the legislation to see if we need to go any farther, but as it stands, this is some of the strictest gambling legislation in Europe."

All gambling activities will be subject to a tax as part of the proposed gambling legislation, which will, according to the minister, raise money for gambling education, awareness, and treatment.

Minister Browne stated, "There is a clear additional levy that will be put on all gambling activities within this legislation to get further funding from the gambling industry."

It's a big business, it brings in a lot of money, and I have no problem with more money being raised.

"The levy will be based on turnover and applied to the gaming industry. Therefore, it will be modified in accordance with the size of the specific business that may be offering the services," he continued.

"Although the precise proportion hasn't been determined yet, the industry is enormous, so the most important thing will be to ensure that enough money is raised to support treatment, education, and awareness of the risks associated with gambling."

Minister Browne stated, "There is a clear additional levy that will be put on all gambling activities within this legislation to get further funding from the gambling industry."


Casino Reviews

Casino reviews serve as the compass in the vast sea of online gambling, guiding players towards the safest, most reputable, and entertaining destinations. They are the ultimate resource for those seeking an informed opinion and an insider's perspective on the world of online casinos.

One fascinating aspect of casino reviews is their ability to encapsulate the essence of a virtual gambling establishment in a single piece of content. Experienced reviewers meticulously dissect every aspect of a casino, from its game selection and software providers to its customer support and payment options. They leave no stone unturned, providing a comprehensive snapshot of what players can expect when they step foot into a particular online casino.

Try These Casinos

1. Platincasino
4.8 / 5

Welcome Bonus

up to £200 Bonus + 200 Free Spins

  • Accepts players from United Kingdom

18+. Terms apply. Please gamble responsibly.

2. bet365
4.9 / 5

New Player Offer

Stake £10 and get 50 Free Spins

  • Accepts players from United Kingdom

Deposit and stake £10 on eligible Casino games to get 50 Free Spins. Time limits, game restrictions and T&Cs apply.

3. DrSlot Casino
DrSlot Casino
4.8 / 5

Welcome bonus up to 20 free spins

+ no deposit needed

  • Accepts players from United Kingdom

18+. New Players only. Up to 20 (20p) free spins locked to Full Metal Jackpot. Wins paid as bonus credit. 40x wagering requirement. 7 day expiry. £50 max withdrawal from bonuses without a deposit across all Intouch Games Accounts; mFortune, Mr Spin, Dr Slot, PocketWin, Casino2020, Bonus Boss, Jammy Monkey. T&Cs apply.