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Gamban Partners with the Extern Problem Gambling Project

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

In the modern age, Ireland has become a popular tourist destination with its green countryside, ancient castles, and rich culture. What many people do not know, is that Ireland is suffering from a gambling problem. - Ireland has the third-highest gambling losses per adult, in the world. - According to the Department of Health, Ireland has in the region of 30,000 people with gambling problems (aged 15 and over). - Fewer than 1% of people who would benefit from problem gambling treatment receive it. - According to the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, gambling addiction affects young people at 2-3 times the rate of adults. - Over €5bn each year is gambled in Ireland - that's €10,000 every minute. - 12% of Irish Adults bet with a bookmaker on a weekly basis and 2% bet regularly online. "The absence of gambling regulation in Ireland negatively impacts on roughly 300,000 people, in the form of direct and indirect gambling-related harm. As there is no Regulator, we cannot have a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme - either for land-based or online gambling. This greatly increases the risk of relapse in Ireland, compared to countries where regulation exists. There is also no legal requirement for affordability checks or source of wealth checks - which exist in other jurisdictions. This greatly increases the risk of people gambling beyond their means or with stolen funds. Credit card gambling, which has been banned in the UK, is still legal in Ireland - meaning that most of the people we work with, will end up with substantial credit card debt, as part of their gambling-related debts. We urgently need to see a gambling Regulator in this country in order to minimise the harm and potential harms associated with problem gambling." - Barry Grant, Extern Problem Gambling Project Online Gambling sites in Ireland Online casino gambling was legalized in Ireland in the last decade, along with online sportsbooks. Since Irish law allows both local and offshore casinos to operate within Ireland, there are plenty of legal and black market sites offering casino games in Ireland. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 people with gambling problems in Ireland. It is estimated that, for every person with a gambling problem, an additional 8-10 people are adversely affected. The HSE stated that they only worked with 230 people with gambling problems in 2019. This is only the tip of the iceberg. “As Ireland is about to emerge as a regulated online gambling market it is fair to say that the current treatment infrastructure isn’t anywhere near as mature or evolving as the treatment apparatus to that of the UK. With this in mind, we have a lot of individuals based in rural and isolated areas without access to treatment easily. We believe that without access to treatment centres that Gamban can provide aid against gambling-related harm and act as an enabler helping people to take back control of their lives.” - Stephen Aupy, VP Strategic Partnerships Irish Gambling Regulations and Law Ireland's multi-billion-euro betting, gaming, and gambling industries are regulated by outdated legislation, primarily the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act and the 1931 Betting Act, both of which the Government has admitted are outdated. David Stanton, The Minister of State with responsibility for the gambling industry, has admitted he is "frustrated" at the lengthy delay in publishing the legislation, which is now running nearly five years behind schedule. Mr. Stanton said that he plans to amend the 1956 Act to include the emerging technology of online gaming. Mr Stanton has also spoken on how his concerns for children being potentially "groomed" by online games, acting as a precursor to gambling sites. He said the new laws would prohibit activities that encouraged children into gambling. Gamban and the Extern Problem Gambling Project We're working with the Extern Problem Gambling Project (formerly Problem Gambling Ireland) to help reduce gambling harm and increase awareness, not only around problem gambling but the services available for those who are struggling may struggle with it. Over lockdown (and continuing as of writing this) many Casino and Betting operators were urged by the charity Extern Problem Gambling Project to immediately implement mandatory deposit and spending limits on online gambling platforms for the duration of the Covid-19 lockdown over fears that online gambling could increase in popularity while betting shops are closed. If you're in Ireland and struggling with a gambling problem, don't hesitate to reach out to the Extern Problem Gambling Project for support and guidance.

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