ESRI research: 1 in 30 adults in Ireland suffer from problem gambling in 2023

Those in their 30s are estimated to have the highest rate of problem gambling.

Ireland gambling problem
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New statistics have been announced by the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) with regards to problem gambling in Ireland.

ESRI revealed that an estimated 1 in 30 adults in Ireland now suffer from problem gambling, a statistic 10 times higher, when compared to a similar study from 2019. The study was conducted online with 2,850 adults participating in the focus group.

The study was commissioned through the Implementation Team supporting the establishment of the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland and the Department of Justice.

The study stated: “The amounts that people reported spending on gambling products in the survey compare well with national figures for industry revenue, suggesting that the study did not over-record gambling.”

Furthermore, the study estimated that an additional 279,000 adults showed moderate evidence of problem gambling, meaning they showed signs of suffering from several negative behaviours associated with problem gambling; but didn’t show enough signs to be accounted as being a problem gambler.

It was found that online gambling accounts for three-fifths of the total gambling spend of people with problem gambling, with in-person gambling accounting for the remaining two-fifths.

People with problem gambling spend, on average, more than €1,000 (US$1,051) per month on gambling.

The study showed that on average, people in their 30s have the highest problem gambling rate. It also showed that problem gambling is less common among women compared to men and is less common among those with higher levels of education. However, both differences appear to be smaller than previously thought.

Results revealed that three-quarters of adults spent money on at least one form of gambling in the month, with a third gambling online.

The most common forms of gambling among the focus group were lotteries and scratch cards, followed by betting on horseracing, greyhounds and other sports.

It was also recorded that slot machines and casino gambling, particularly online, were more widespread among people who suffer from problem gambling.

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