Responsible Gambling

The rise of online gambling in a variety of forms has been prevalent in Ireland and beyond over the past few years and it continues to be an activity that primarily provides entertainment and also, gives players a chance to win some money.

However, as with any form of entertainment, it is important to approach any form of gambling responsibly, in order to avoid any negative consequences and the potential pitfalls gambling can have upon anybody. 

In Ireland, as with many other big betting countries worldwide, responsible gambling is a critical issue, as it can have far-reaching effects on individuals, families, and communities and both sportsbooks and those in governance are working hard to promote the concept of gambling responsibly.

Whilst it is in many senses indefinable, responsible gambling ultimately involves being aware of the risks associated with gambling and taking steps to mitigate them, as a player. This can entail setting limits on the amount of time and money spent on gambling, only gambling with funds that can be realistically lost, and of course, avoiding chasing losses.

Responsible gambling also involves being aware of the signs of potentially addictive behaviour and being able to take action and to seek help, if needed.

In recent times, this negative spiral some punters can find themselves in has been coined ‘problem gambling’ and it was estimated that in 2022, there were as many as 15,000 people in Ireland who were dealing with gambling problems on a daily basis.

The notion of problem gambling can lead to a range of negative consequences, including financial difficulties, relationship problems, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It can also have a detrimental impact on an individual's work and social life, leading to absenteeism and social isolation – far reaching beyond just placing a few online bets.

Convenience is at the heart of the problem for some gamblers, as the availability and accessibility of online gambling platforms has made it easier for people to access a variety of gambling activities and whilst this has seen a huge boom in the industry, it has in turn, contributed to an increase in problem gambling in Ireland and the UK.

In times gone by, a lack of awareness about the risks associated with gambling, as well as a lack of support and treatment options for those who need help, has also had a detrimental effect on the industry.

As part of a governmental initiative that is being rolled out in Ireland thanks to organisations such as GambleAware and the Irish National Lottery, all registered and licensed Irish bookmakers must be able to provide support for their customers, should they need it.

Support can come in the form of being able to set limits, instant account closures and customer service liaison officers – designed to deal with punters who are struggling with problem gambling.

Raising awareness across all levels of gambler, is absolutely essential in the battle with responsible gambling in Ireland. With support and treatment options now readily available to Irish punters too, responsible gambling is becoming very much the norm.