Written answers

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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109. To ask the Minister for Health the number of persons by age group and gender treated for gambling addiction in 2020; if the pandemic has exacerbated problem gambling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28323/21]

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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The regulation of gambling is the responsibility of the Department of Justice. It is setting up a gambling regulator tol oversee gambling, including advertisements and the social impact of gambling.

The impacts of gambling are both visible and invisible. Gambling activities may have adverse health, social and financial repercussions which impact individuals, families and communities. 

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for the provision of addiction treatment services.  

People who present to the HSE for addiction treatment for gambling are offered the same range of interventions as those who present with a drug and alcohol addiction, or a mental health concern, including an initial assessment, a comprehensive assessment, and individual counselling. It is often the case that gambling addiction is one of a number of addictions and issues faced by an individual.  

The latest available figures produced by the HSE show the following number of cases (not split by age group or gender) where people presented with problem gambling for 2017/ 2018 AND 2019:

- 2017  2018  2019 
Assessed only (not treated) 54  37  41 
Treated  219  217  224 

Information on gambling treatment for 2020 has not been published. 

I am concerned about the social and health impact of gambling. We need a multi-faceted response that includes services targeted at problem gamblers, curbs on gambling advertising and promotion, and public awareness about the significant individual and societal harms caused by gambling. I look forward to engaging with the new gambling regulator on these matters in due course.  


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