Minister of State for Equality, Immigration, and Integration David Stanton
Almost one in ten 15-17 year olds bought a lottery ticket or scratch card in the last year, and 9.4% placed a bet at a horse or dog-racing meeting according to a new report on the extent of gambling in Ireland released by Minister of State Cork TD David Stanton and his colleague Deputy Catherine Byrne.
Deputy Stanton, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, and the Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drug Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, today published the first set of data on gambling in Ireland. The research found that the most common form of gambling is on lottery tickets or scratch cards, with 56.7% reporting this form of gambling in the last year, and 35.4% reporting this form of gambling on a monthly (or more frequent) basis.
The research also found that those aged 55-64 are most likely to report gambling in the last year (72.4%), followed by 35-44 year olds (70.5%) and 45-54 year olds (69.4%).
Minister Stanton said: “The modernisation of our gambling legislation and the better regulation of the gambling industry is a priority for Government. This is especially important for the small percentage of people for whom gambling can negatively affect significant areas of their lives including their mental and physical health, employment, finances and relationships with others. This survey, and the continued future gathering of this data, will greatly aid our understanding of the issue and help us plan our interventions accordingly.”
The survey will provide a baseline of data to assist in policy formulation and future planning and action on gambling. The initial results of the next survey, covering the period 2018/19, are expected within the next 12 months.
Echoing the need for reliable statistics, Minister Byrne said: “The statistics show that many people in Ireland engage in various forms of gambling without any issue arising. For the small percentage of people for whom gambling is a problem, we need measures to reduce problem gambling and its impact on individuals and their families. For this, the collection of data is very important. I was particularly interested to note from the survey that the prevalence of all gambling was highest among middle management senior civil servants, managers and owners of their own business and lowest among semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, trainees and apprentices. This highlights that evidence based policy making is essential in ensuring that our policy and legislative approach to addressing this complex and evolving area is fit for purpose.”
Minister Stanton will shortly bring to Government for its approval the report of an Inter-Departmental Working Group which has been reviewing the provisions of the General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill 2013.
The full survey results can be found online HERE
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