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Study Reveals Problem Gambling Rate in Ireland at 1 in 30 Adults

Study Reveals Problem Gambling Rate in Ireland at 1 in 30 Adults

A new report published by Ireland's Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) indicates that one in 30 adults in the country experience some form of problem gambling, shedding light on the extent of gambling-related issues in Ireland.

The report is based on data collected from anonymous online panels featuring 2,850 adults. The findings suggest that the problem gambling rate in Ireland is ten times higher than estimates from 2019, which were based on face-to-face interviews. The researchers believe the latest figure more accurately reflects the true situation as it closely matches the rate of problem gambling observed among friends and family.

According to Pete Lunn, head of ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit, this estimated rate translates to 130,000 people suffering from problem gambling, indicating that the issue is more widespread than previously thought.

The report also highlights that an additional 279,000 adults exhibit moderate signs of problem gambling, meaning they experience several negative behaviors or experiences associated with gambling but do not meet the criteria for problem gambling.

People identified as having problem gambling issues spend over €1,000 (£866/$1,050) on gambling each month on average. This suggests that more than a quarter of all money spent on gambling comes from individuals with gambling problems.

Study Reveals Problem Gambling Rate in Ireland at 1 in 30 Adults 2

Online gambling accounts for three-fifths of the total gambling expenditure of people with problem gambling. The study reveals that individuals under 50 have higher rates of problem gambling, with those in their 30s having the highest rate.

The most common forms of gambling among respondents were lotteries and scratch cards, followed by betting on horses, greyhounds, and other sports. Slot machines and online casino gambling were more prevalent among people with problem gambling.

The study suggests that the widespread availability of gambling and exposure to related advertising, rather than individuals' character or upbringing, are key factors contributing to problem gambling.

This study was commissioned through the Implementation Team supporting the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland and the Department of Justice. Ireland is currently in the process of establishing a new regulatory body, the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, which aims to address gambling-related issues in the country.

Anne Marie Caulfield, CEO designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority, emphasized the importance of the ESRI study in shedding light on the extent of gambling harm in Ireland and its impact on individuals and their families. The insights from this and other studies will be valuable in the Authority's efforts to tackle gambling-related issues, including education, awareness, and protective measures such as exclusion registers.

The study follows a report from the previous month that raised concerns about underage gambling in Ireland, revealing that nearly one in four 16-year-olds had gambled for money in the past year, with a quarter reporting difficulty in controlling their gambling habits, despite the legal gambling age being 18 in Ireland.

Image License:, Free to use, Author: Wallace Bentt

Image License:, Free to use, Author: Jason Goodman


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