Thursday, May 30, 2024

Problem gamblers are spending €1,000 a month

Must read

It’s estimated that people who have a problem with gambling are spending €1,000 a month on their habit.
And some 3.3% of adults in Ireland (130,000 people) have a problem with gambling with another 279,000 showing moderate evidence of problem gambling.
The figures come from the Economic and Social Research Institute and so carry some weight.
There is no doubt that gambling is a problem in this country and it’s also unfair to lay the blame for this at the door of the horseracing industry.
For many people over very many years horseracing was the problem and for many gamblers it still is.
But the gambling business has evolved at a rate of knots to the point where it is almost invisible. You can be seen walking into a booking office with the racing pages from newspaper tucked into your arm.
But much of what goes on goes on online, behind closed doors and money is wagered on electronic games.
There was a time when bookie offices closed at a reasonable hour and didn’t open on Sundays. But gambling now is a 24 hour seven day a week industry.
Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 is aimed at providing a framework and legislative basis for a robust regulatory and licensing regime to regulate all forms of gambling. It has been described by the Minister of State with responsibility for Law Reform, James Browne as “a public health measure aimed at protecting citizens from gambling harm, including younger people and those more vulnerable in our communities.”
The ESRI’s behavioural research unit (now there’s a scary sounding body) made up of a team of behavioural economists and psychol-
ogists also says that a further 15%, or 590,000 people, 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 under-estimated the prevalence of problem gambling than to have overestimated it.
The research concludes that nearly half of the gambling industry’s revenue in Ireland is generated from people experiencing multiple negative effects from gambling.
Mr Browne says that the findings of the ESRI’s latest research on problem gambling further under-
scores the necessity to recognise and meaningfully confront problem gambling and the harms it causes.
He says reform of gambling legislation, licensing and regulation is a priority for the government and my Department.
It’s hoped to set up a new, independent statutory body called Údarás Rialála Cearrbhachais na hÉireann (the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland) and for a robust regulatory and licensing regime to regulate gambling in-person and online, and for the regulation of gambling advertising, websites and apps.
The legislation provides for the establishment and operation of the National Gambling Exclusion Register and introduces tight restrictions on the advertisement of gambling activities, as unanimously recommended by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and adopted by the cabinet.
This measure, it’s hoped, will assist in protecting vulnerable people in our society, particularly children, from exposure to excessive gambling advertising and the harms of problem gambling.
It also seeks to bring in a number of additional measures to protect people who participate in gambling and provides for the creation of a social impact fund, which will be used to finance re-
search and related initiatives to address problem gambling behaviours, to support awareness–raising and educational measures and to support problem gambling treatment activities.”
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 attain-
ment, 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.
The Bill will also introduce tight restrictions on the advertisement of gambling activities aimed particularly at protecting children and vulnerable people from the harms of problem gambling.
Gambling advertisements on television and radio will be banned between 5:30am to 9pm. The Bill will also prohibit, by default, gambling advertising on on-demand audio-visual media services or by any other means of electronic communication, including social media.
Gambling advertising intended to appeal to children will be prohibited, as will advertising that promotes excessive or compulsive gambling.
Other protective measures included in the Bill include a prohibition on gambling payments by credit card and the offer of credit facilities to customers.

It als0 provides for the setting up of a social impact fund, which will be used to finance research and related initiatives to address problem gambling behaviours, to support awareness–raising and educational measures and to support problem gambling treatment activities.
The Fund will be funded by mandatory contributions, calculated annually based on the turnover of gambling licensees.

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Latest article