Huge Rise in Gambling over 10 years
For decades, we have seen how addiction to Gambling can tear apart families and destroy lives – however, today, with the normalisation of betting, a fifth more young gamblers are at risk of developing a severe problem. See treatment for gambling addiction.
We have seen a 31% rise in enquiries from gambling addicts to our treatment facility. We have also noted a rise in ‘Gambling’ as a secondary addiction alongside mainly alcohol, hence adding to future rises in problem gambling,
If you are affected by gambling issues in Northern Ireland or Ireland, please know that Smarmore Castle is a leading residential rehab with dedicated gambling programmes to help sufferers regain control over their lives and finances. We’re only a short drive away – talk to us to see what we can do for you.
20% of Irishmen at risk in Ireland
A report from the Health Research Board has stated that problem gambling is on the rise, with the highest jumps found in deprived areas, which has brought the call for planners to crack down on the number of gambling outlets allowed in these areas.
The HRB report stated that one in five men (aged 15-24) who have gambled in the last year are in an “at-risk” category compared to one in 10 men of all ages.
Report findings – gambling problems are more common than you might think
- Gambling in a bookmaker’s shop was found to be the second most common gambling activity
- 54% of those who gambled were in employment
- 35,000 adults were found to have a moderate risk to their Gambling
- 12,000 people were found to be problem gamblers
- Why You’re so Hooked: The Science Behind Gambling
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The correlation between gambling addiction and substance abuse
The report also found a clear correlation between gambling addiction and substance misuse (13% of those with an alcohol disorder were ‘at-risk’ gamblers).
“The results appear to be really concerning, particularly for younger males in large urban areas that may have been under-represented in this study. There needs to be further education, awareness and support on a national scale to counter the normalisation of gambling in Ireland and NI.”
What’s more important to bear in mind is that those so-called “low-risk” gamblers are also at serious risk of severely impacting their lives financially and emotionally.
Signs of a Gambling Addiction
All process addictions can cause significant harm. Warning signs to look out for include:
- Loss of control and being unable to manage impulsive urges to gamble
- Problems or absences from work or general lack of concentration/preoccupied
- Borrowing more money to gamble and trying to win back your losses or to experience the same thrill
- A preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in hobbies and friends
- A negative impact upon close family relationships
- Nausea and Headaches
- Concealing or lying about the amount of money and time spent betting
- Stealing money and denying there is a problem
- Selling possessions
- A noticeable increase in anxiety, irritability, guilt and stress
- Becoming more isolated/Declining physical health
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The situation in Northern Ireland
At the beginning of 2022, it was reported that up to 42,000 people in Northern Ireland were identified as problem gamblers, who often run up huge debts.
And for every individual gambler, six more people on average are claimed to be affected.
Northern Ireland’s problem is the highest across the UK (four times higher than England) due to increased poverty and poor mental health.
Northern Ireland’s gambling law changes hugely ‘overdue’
Northern Ireland is one of many countries that are in the process of improving its gambling laws. NI’s gambling laws were created over 35 years ago and have not been adequately updated since.
The overhaul includes rules that any legal operator will need to abide by or face punishment and heavy fines. Furthermore, these rules have been developed to keep players safe and ensure the running of responsible services. €10,000 every 60 seconds spent on online Gambling.
Changes to law include:
- Expanding the definition of cheating to include attempts to cheat
- Regulations surrounding online Gambling
- Creating a statutory levy on operators to raise money
- Making gambling contracts enforceable by law
- Making it illegal for children to play games even when supervised by a paying adult
- Allowing bookmakers to remain open for business on Good Friday and Sundays is currently listed as illegal. Data found that nearly all of the public believed they should be allowed to open on Sundays, and 66% agreed to open on Good Friday.
- The creation of a mandatory code of practice for operators (as discussed above)
Get help now
Gambling addiction is a serious behavioural condition that will likely affect you for the rest of your life – let us help change that. We have the tools and evidence-based therapy programmes that can help you defeat your gambling addiction and repair your relationships.
All you need to do is get in touch, call 041 214 5111.