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Ireland’s Gambling Problem, “A Massive Issue”


In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the ever-growing negative side of gambling. See, the game of chance always will have victims and if those victims are vulnerable enough, it can become a dyer situation. Whilst trying to battle the urge to gamble, many young people find themselves cornered by betting and fall into a hole too big to climb out of. It’s happening in the US, in the UK but in this article, we’ll be looking at Ireland’s gambling problem. Let’s take a look.

This report will solely be based on the evidence Alan Galvin, manager of the Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre in Limerick, has given us. Working very closely with troubled gamblers, he believes that unless something is done, Ireland can be facing a gambling epidemic. Read more below to find out what he said.

Addiction Treatment Centre Report on Ireland’s Gambling Problem

Taken from the words of Alan Galvin, we have the following:

“We have young men here betting on basketball in the United States – most of them haven’t a clue about basketball.”

In particular, Galvin believes the easily accessible online market holds the biggest problem for youngsters:

“One lad showed me, he was watching a game on his laptop, logged into the portal or whatever, and during it he was getting targeted for quick bets, say on who scores the next point. It’s instant and through the whole process they can constantly gamble,”

“I do think that’s going to be the next big problem here. We’ve had young lads here, they have online accounts and they get their €188 (unemployment benefit) and it’s gone. Then what does that create? A young person who is welfare-dependent, with no money, getting into debt, and oftentimes substance use and gambling, even where gambling is not seen as a problem, go hand in hand.”

Although there is no direct link between abuse of substance drugs and gambling, sometimes, the end result can be the same. That word is addiction. When having troubles with gambling, the first step is realizing it which not many people can do. Saoirse, which is based in Limerick City, offers non-residential day treatment for people over the age of 18, free of charge.

“A Social Issue”: Why Gambling is Unique

In 2015, there was a report issued by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol. Back then, 64% of adults engaged in gambling over the course of the year. However, that includes buying a lottery ticket, bookmaker gambling, slot machines and playing family bingo.

Galvin, sees the problem as far more precious. He believes that gambling is unique to other addictions as it is not a health issue. Here’s more from him:

“I can sit down here and if I had a laptop in two-seconds flat I’d get stats for drug and alcohol addiction and the cost to the health service etc,”

“Gambling is different – it’s not a health issue, it’s seen as a social issue and it falls between the stools, no one is going to stand firm on it. There’s also a great lobby there, it’s big money.”

Could he be right about this? It’s interesting to hear this topic be approached from a different viewpoint, especially as so many people in the UK and US have gambling problems. If you would like to find out more about gambling addiction stories, just check out the latest online gambling news. You’ll be able to find similar sagas to this one.

As for Ireland’s gambling problem, well, it seems as though Galvin may be stumbling on something correct. Running an addiction center, he’ll certainly be the go-to man concerning any gambling addiction problems.

About the author

Simon is a University student majoring in the field of Communication. Since a young age, his two passions are writing and sports. Originally from England, the Premier League is an important part of his life.

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