10 Billion in Gambling by Irish Punters last year

If there is a gambling platform to gamble at, gamblers will use this. Irish Bookmakers have for sure pocketed a good amount of money on that, and unfortunately, Irish authorities find the figure to be somehow worrying. If we breakdown the figures, all Ireland has gambler the whopping amount of 9.8 Billion in 2019. 4.7 Billion was spent at casinos, both online and land-based. Sports Betting, that includes sporting events just like football and horse betting has netted 4.3 Billion.

betting illustration - ball and smartphone

Image source: miro.medium.com

Looking back through the years, Irish gambling has been on the increase. In 2018, 8 Billion was gambled away, and the figures have been on the rise since 2014, where a total of 6.8 Billion were gambled. With gambling having a 50% chance of winnings at times, the Irish player has lost billions of money and taken zero moolah home. The figures have caught the attention of Problem Gambling Ireland, a company that was set up by CEO Barry Grant. Grant’s sole purpose in launching the company was to erase gambling addictions, so is the company losing its battle with the gambling? Does the Irish population have a gambling problem?  After all, figures depict that €379.51 per person were gambled in 2019 alone. Grant stressed that the most problematic form of gambling and the ones that drive addiction are casino games, and Irish punters have spent the most money here, as opposed to sports betting. He continued saying that Irish bookmakers have made tons of money off people, and a gambling addiction amongst the Irish population should not be ruled out. Figures show that this is common day theft, that is resulting in people developing unhealthy gambling patterns. Would you believe it when we say that around 30,000 over 15 years of age have a gambling addiction in Ireland?

Gambling addiction has brought gamblers to take drastic measures to fund their habit. 7 gambling addicts have been found and convicted of stealing between 12,000 Euros up to 583,000 Euros. The sad part of this lies in the fact that this figure seems to be just an estimate Grant stressed. The Irish Government is taking drastic measures to try and dilute the Irish Gambling addictions. They imposed a 500 Euro max payout on slot games and also set outlines for stake figures. This intervention has raised eyebrows, as although the initiative looks good on paper, other jurisdictions offer a better approach to fight the gambling phenomenon, with lower payouts set.

With slot machines taking the most of the money from gamblers, some online slots have many paylines, and a gambler could even pay up to a drastic 250 Euros per spin. With the Irish gambler betting the most on slot and casino games, this figure is definitely worrying.  Let us all remember that some games would only grant a player a win of 50c when a player would have made a bet of 5 Euros and more.

The question is, has the Irish Cabinet done enough to ensure that the rise in gambling is being mitigated?  Whilst Irish Bookmakers have stayed silent on the matter, the Irish gambler is at wits end trying to get the next fix. And let’s face it, stealing money over a period of years to fund one’s gambling addiction is somehow worrying. This depicts a different story of what we all envisage. If someone is resorting to crime to find their gambling, their gambling is indeed an issue. Problem Gambling Ireland has vowed to continue working towards eliminating problematic gambling, and they also want to continue placing pressure on the Irish Cabinet to ensure stricter measures and put in place.  They also hope to work hand in hand with the Irish Bookmaker, although bookmakers are always happy when gambling is on the rise, and never delve into individual matters.

In the meantime, the Government has updated the Irish Games and Lotteries Act that was drawn in 1956. With gambling always evolving,  the government does not rule out making more tighter measures to mitigate risks of seeing more gambling problems arise.

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