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ESRI Research On Problem Gambling Welcomed.

  • 3.3% of the adult population in Ireland, or 130,000 people, are people with problem gambling.
  • An additional 7.1% of the adult population, or 279,000 people, show moderate evidence of problem gambling.
  • People with problem gambling, on average, spend more than €1,000 per month on gambling, accounting for 28 per cent of total spending on gambling.
  • Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 will provide a framework and legislative basis for a robust regulatory and licensing regime to regulate all forms of gambling.
  • The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022, is, at its core, a public health measure aimed at protecting citizens from gambling harm, including younger people and those more vulnerable in our communities.

The publication today of research on problem gambling, gambling behaviours and perceptions of gambling in Ireland, was carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute’s Behavioural Research Unit.

The study was commissioned through the Implementation Team supporting the establishment of a new independent statutory body called Údarás Rialála Cearrbhachais na hÉireann, the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.

The review records that 3.3% of the adult population in Ireland, or 130,000 people, are people with problem gambling, a figure that is ten times higher than previous estimates.

Furthermore, the research finds that an additional 7.1% of the adult population, or 279,000 people, show moderate evidence of problem gambling and a further 15%, or 590,000 people, who report at least some problematic experiences or behaviours in relation to gambling.

It should be noted, the researchers point out that their study is more likely to have underestimated the prevalence of problem gambling than have overestimated it.

The research also finds that people with problem gambling, on average, spend more than €1,000 per month on gambling, accounting for 28 per cent of total spending on gambling.

The research concludes that nearly half of the gambling industry’s revenue in Ireland is generated from people experiencing multiple negative effects from gambling.

The ESRI’s research also found that:

  • While problem gambling is more common among adults aged under 50 (and highest in the 30-39 year age group), men and those with lower educational attainment, it is widespread, with 2.9% of women and 2.6% of people educated to degree level estimated to have problem gambling.
  • two-thirds of people with problem gambling stated their wish to gamble less, indicating problems with self-control.
  • the public, holding a generally negative attitude to gambling, believes that the availability of opportunities to gamble and exposure to gambling advertising are the main causes of problem gambling.
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