Behavioral Research Unit States Problem Gambling in Ireland Likely “Underestimated”

  • Report numbers over 130,000 Irish people experiencing gambling harms or at risk
  • ESRI suggests widely targeted interventions could be crucial to tackling problem gambling
  • GRA commissioned second ESRI study to uncover the true scale of problem gambling
St. Patrick's Day celebration in Dublin
Research commissioned by Ireland’s gambling regulator has revealed while over 130,000 Irish people are experiencing or at risk from gambling harms, the number “has probably been underestimated.” [Image:]

A review by an independent Irish research institute’s behavioral research unit has revealed that problem gambling in Ireland ”causes serious harms and has probably been underestimated.”

The recent findings by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) were based on a review of both domestic and international evidence. It counts over 130,000 Irish people as either suffering from gambling harms or at risk from them.

widely targeted interventions could be crucial

The ESRI report also suggested a departure from policy to target only the worst cases of problem gambling instead saying that widely targeted interventions could be crucial to “making substantial inroads in reducing the aggregate burden of harm from [problem gambling] at a population level.”

According to the head of the ESRI’s behavioral science unit Professor Pete Lunn, the institute is “pretty sure that the true extent of the problem is hidden from public view.” That “true extent” is what the Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) wants ESRI to uncover, commissioning the Dublin-based independent to conduct a second study, due at the end of the year.

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