Problem gambling

Problem gambling people, in Ireland treated has reached a record high of 257 in 2018, according to provisional figures from the Health Service Executive, the body responsible for the provision of health and personal social services.

The total is the highest since records began in 2011, when gambling was first listed as a problem “substance” by the Health Research Board, alongside alcohol and illegal drugs.

Problem gambling figure represents a 17.4% increase from 2017 and eclipses the previous high of 222, set in 2012. The number of cases treated in 2011 was 181, which remains a record low, while the average number between 2011 and 2017 was 201.

In June, the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019, Ireland’s placeholder legislation for the country’s betting and gaming sector, progressed to the committee stage in Dáil Éireann. The bill will set maximum gaming machine stakes and prizes at €10 and €750 respectively and formally impose age restriction of 18 years on betting and gaming products.

However it will then be replaced by the Gambling Control Bill, which will establish a new legislative framework for the industry, and see the country’s first independent regulatory authority created.

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