Problem gambling facts and statistics

Learn the facts surrounding Ireland’s gambling culture

Written by Megan Stonecipher


It’s no surprise that there are many people in Ireland who are compulsive gamblers.  Specifically, recent research has found that there is believed to be 40,000 people in Ireland who have a gambling addiction.  More than 40% of Irish adult population plays the National Lottery regularly, and approximately 12% of Irish adults bet with a bookmaker weekly.  

In addition to those statistics, over €5 billion a year are gambled, which turns out to be approximately €10,000 per minute everyday.  Ireland has the third highest per capita rating in the world for losses in gambling.  Last year Ireland’s losses from gambling totaled up to be over €2.1 billion.  

The most popular method of gambling is online gambling with almost half of gambling losses coming from it, while the second most popular method of gambling is traditional betting.  Gambling is easily accessible, especially when Ireland has approximately 1,100 bookmaker shops, 19 Private Members Clubs/Casinos, 122 Licensed Gaming Arcades and over 10,000 gaming machines.  

The problem with Ireland’s gambling rates is that they are not decreasing.  This may be because tackling issues associated with drinking and drug abuse have been the main focus, while leaving the issue of gambling behind.  This is becoming more of a problem because as of right now less than 1% of those who need treatment for problem gambling actually receive it.  If we were to focus more so on compulsive gambling, maybe we would be able to lower some of these statistics and get people the help and treatment that they need.

Note if you think you need help with problem gambling don’t hesitate to contact these resources: Problem Gambling Ireland and Gambler’s Anonymous.


Our work is supported by