The number of people suffering from compulsive gambling issues is at an all-time high in Ireland. As such a record number of people in Ireland are seeking treatment for problem gambling.
According to the official data, the number of people treated for problem gambling in the health services sector crossed 250 in the past year.
In Ireland, gambling is treated as a problem “substance”, just like alcohol and illegal drugs, on the reporting system maintained by the Health Service Executive.
The figures show that there were about 1,750 cases where gambling was recorded as the main problem substance since the National Drug Treatment Reporting System started collecting gambling-related data in 2010.
Also, in 2018 there were a total of 257 cases provisionally recorded which was highest so far.
In 2019 for the first four months, there have been a total of 82 gambling cases in treatment.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly said: “We are not drifting towards a gambling crisis, we are in the middle of one. We have the highest online gambling losses, per capita, in the world; that fact should scare politicians, but the reality is that it doesn’t.”
“All the available evidence points to the fact that it is predominantly young men who are suffering from problem gambling and our health services have to be able to educate about this problem and reach out and respond to these young men in a targeted way.