Preparations are underway for the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI) as autumn approaches. In light of this development, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has emphasized the critical importance of prioritizing the issue of problem gambling for the new Irish gambling regulator.
With the GRAI set to become operational, the regulatory body will bear the responsibility of overseeing and managing the gambling landscape in Ireland. Recognizing the potential risks associated with gambling, the ESRI has provided guidance, stressing the significance of devoting considerable attention to addressing problem gambling.
By making problem gambling a priority, the new Irish gambling regulator can effectively tackle the concerns and challenges faced by individuals affected by this issue. Implementing proactive measures, such as effective prevention strategies, support services, and the promotion of responsible gambling practices, will be crucial in minimizing the detrimental impact of problem gambling on Irish society.
The establishment of GRAI presents an opportunity to enhance the regulation and management of gambling activities in Ireland. By heeding the advice of the ESRI and placing emphasis on addressing problem gambling, the new regulatory authority can contribute to fostering a safer and more responsible gambling environment throughout the country.
New research findings have underscored the need for Ireland’s upcoming gambling regulator to prioritize the mitigation of problem gambling. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has issued a warning, indicating that problem gambling rates in Ireland might exceed initial estimates.
To inform decision-making regarding the launch of the new regulatory body, the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI), the ESRI conducted an extensive study aimed at providing evidence-based research. Previous estimates suggested that around 12,000 individuals (approximately 0.3% of the population) experienced problem gambling, with an additional 35,000 (0.9%) considered at risk. However, the ESRI argues that these figures may underestimate the true extent of the problem due to biases in survey design and response patterns.
The ESRI’s research highlights a significant societal burden associated with problem gambling, particularly among young men from disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals with other addictive tendencies. The report also identifies frequent gambling participation, gambling advertising, and complex betting options as factors contributing to increased gambling activity.
The study reveals several research gaps that require attention, including the underestimation of problem gambling prevalence, limited survey data on public attitudes towards gambling, and a lack of understanding regarding the impact of marketing techniques. The report recommends conducting behavioral audits of gambling marketing techniques employed in Ireland to inform policymaking.
Anne Marie Caulfield, the CEO Designate of GRAI, stresses the importance of accurately assessing the extent and impact of problem gambling. To address this, GRAI has commissioned a follow-up study by the ESRI, specifically focused on measuring the prevalence of problem gambling. Caulfield emphasizes that raising awareness about problem gambling and providing treatment and support services will be critical functions of the regulatory authority.
The ESRI’s research findings serve as a call to action for Ireland’s gambling regulator, urging them to prioritize and address the pressing issue of problem gambling in the country. By comprehending the true magnitude of the problem and implementing targeted measures, GRAI can fulfill its role in raising awareness, providing support, and mitigating the harmful consequences associated with problem gambling.