In a groundbreaking revelation, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has unveiled alarming figures related to problem gambling in Ireland, suggesting a scenario far graver than previously assumed.
The Irish gambling landscape is under the spotlight once more as a fresh report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) indicates that problem gambling rates are significantly higher than erstwhile evaluations. A staggering one in 30 Irish adults is grappling with problem gambling—a rate that’s an eye-opening tenfold jump from the official 2019 estimate.
Those identified under the problem gambling umbrella were found to be splurging an average of over €1,000 monthly on gambling activities. This startling insight implies that problem gambling accounts for over a quarter of all gambling expenditure in the country. Furthermore, the growing prominence of online gambling was evident, with such platforms constituting three-fifths of the spending by individuals facing gambling issues.
The methodology that ESRI employed for this report stands out, relying on anonymous online panels conducted in August with nearly 2,850 adult participants. When the findings are projected on a national scale, they suggest a whopping 130,000 adults in Ireland are mired in problem gambling, with an estimated 279,000 more showing moderate signs.
Pete Lunn, at the helm of ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit, emphasized the challenges in precisely quantifying problem gambling but expressed confidence in the report’s authenticity. He commented, “Our data better represents the ground reality, far surpassing past approximations.”
ESRI pinpointed increased accessibility and pervasive advertising as the primary culprits propelling problem gambling. This report is poised to bolster the case for more stringent advertising restrictions under the proposed Irish Gambling Regulation Bill.
This monumental study, commissioned by the Department of Justice and the Implementation Team for Ireland’s forthcoming Gambling Regulatory Authority, aims to peel back layers of obscurity shrouding the true extent of Ireland’s gambling concerns. Anne Marie Caulfield, the designated CEO for the new regulatory body, lauded the report’s significance in elucidating the vast ripple effects of problem gambling.
Significantly, this report’s release coincides with another recent study that brought to the fore the troubling prevalence of underage gambling in Ireland, underscoring the urgency for a comprehensive, informed response to address the issue.