20% Young Irish Problem Gamblers Hail from Deprived Areas

Updated On Feb 11, 2022 by Petar Markoski

Young GamblerSummary

  • New study on Irish gambling market
  • Young men more apt to become problem gamblers
  • Ireland yet to appoint gambling regulator

A new study from Ireland’s Health Research Board (HRB) claimed that 20% of young gamblers between ages 15-24 are at the cusp of developing severe addiction or are already addicted.

The problem was attributed to the normalization of betting in the country.

The HRB report urged planners to initiate a crackdown on gambling venues in deprived areas where problem gamblers are most likely to be found.

Link between Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse

Based on the findings, one in five men falling in the age bracket of 15-24 years are already neck-deep into problem gambling or are teetering towards it, compared to one in ten men of all ages. It is also inferred that the younger male population living in larger urban regions might have been inadequately represented.

The study also hinted that substance abuse and gambling addiction are correlated. Findings state that 13% of people who are dealing with a drinking problem are also at-risk gamblers or addicts. Professor Colin O’Gara, a consultant addiction psychiatrist, expressed his concern at the results. According to him, the HRB study is a one-of-a-kind endeavor to study the prevalence of gambling in Ireland and has researched on a huge scale.

Other findings assert that almost half of the people above 15 had gambled in the year before the survey. About 4.7% of the general population was classified as low-risk punters, about 1.8% fell in the moderate risk category, and the remaining 0.6% were problem gamblers. A significant highlight of the research study was its claim that men are five times more likely to become problem gamblers than women.


O’Hara elaborated that even ‘low-risk’ gambling can have a drastic effect on lives. The psychiatrist opined that people largely evaded the questions on the frequency of their participation in gambling. Participants either refused to answer the questions or simply understated their addiction. The study employed other queries to gauge the magnitude of people on the verge of addiction. O’Hara said that given these trends, more avenues like research, education, training, and patient-centered support should be discovered to tackle the issue.

Pro-Reformists Want Irish Govt. to Appoint Gambling Regulator

The Irish Government has been facing calls for a long time to initiate reforms in gambling laws. Petitioners want the reforms to reflect the changes in the gambling industry for the past 20 years and acknowledge the rise of sports betting markets and iGaming. Campaigners who have rallied against gambling have suggested that in the light of the HRB report statistics, there is an urgent need for a regulator and dedicated resources to help gambling addicts recover.

The position for the regulator had been mooted by the Government back in 2013, but the seat is still vacant and is not expected to be occupied until the next year.

Petar is the finance guru, if you need a good investment this is the guy you go to! Working majority of his days in the finance sector as trader, he has gathered plenty of insight on binary options and the forex markets

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