Responsible Gambling & Self Exclusion Policy
What is responsible gambling?
Responsible gambling means staying in control of how much time and money we spend gambling. Whether you are buying a lottery ticket or scratch-card, placing a bet, playing poker or bingo, or playing on a gambling machine or casino game, gambling responsibly means treating the activity as just one form of entertainment in a balanced lifestyle. Just like with other forms of entertainment, gambling is a form of expenditure, and responsible gambling means not spending more money or time than we can reasonably afford, keeping in mind all our other responsibilities in life.
The overwhelming majority of people who gamble don’t have a problem with it, in fact for the majority of those who do bet, gambling is an entertaining form of recreation.
Some interesting facts about the Irish Gambling Industry.
- Almost 44% of Irish adult population play the National Lottery regularly, spending €772 million in 2010
- Approximately 12% of Irish adults bet with a bookmaker weekly
- Approximately 2% of Irish adults gamble online regularly
- Less than 1% of those who need treatment for problem gambling actually receive it.
- Independent studies and the US National Academy of Sciences have confirmed Harvard University’s estimate that 1% of an adult population have a gambling disorder. This equates to c.28,000 people in Ireland (based on adult population of 2.8m) but Ireland’s Institute of Public Health extrapolates it could be as high as 40,000
- Irish people are estimated to gamble over €5bn per year; thats €14m per day or €10,000 per minute
- There is no data in Ireland to tell us exactly how many persons gamble, how often or how many have a gambling problem (will change in 2012 with GambleAware launch of Irish Gambling Prevalence Study)
- Gambling addiction is an ‘impulse control problem’ that any person can suffer from regardless of age, sex or socio economic profile
- Ireland has approximately 1,100 bookmakers’ shops, 19 Private Members Clubs/Casinos, 122 Licensed Gaming Arcades and over 10,000 gaming machines
- Ireland issues approximately 6,500 lottery licences (both occasional and periodical) per year to charities and sporting organisations for fundraising purposes, not including the National Lottery but does include bingo halls
- According to the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, adolescent gambling is thought to be 2-3 times the rate of adults
Staying in Control:
- Most people gamble for fun and enjoyment. However, some people think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems. Following these simple tips can help make sure your gambling doesn’t become a problem.
- Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money:
- The venue is using gambling to make money. It’s not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will give away more money than you receive! Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
- Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
- Set a money limit in advance:
- Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone – it’s over! If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.
- Set a time limit in advance:
- It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up – quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.
- Never chase your losses:
- If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.
- Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset:
- Decision-making can be more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you’re feeling happy and clear headed.
- Balance gambling with other activities:
- When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it’s unlikely that you’re still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime.
- Don’t take your bank card with you.
- This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being “in the moment” warp your judgment.
- Take frequent breaks
- Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.
- Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling
- Drugs and alcohol cloud judgment, and good judgment stands as your main line of defense against letting gambling get out of control.
It’s really up to you
- If you’re concerned about keeping your gambling under control, sticking to some simple rules such as setting a money or time limit can help make the hard decisions for you when the time comes to walk away. To find further advice ask about Self-Exclusion.
Recognise A Problem
How do you know if you have a gambling problem?
Does your gambling cause a problem for you or others around you?
Possible Signs of Problem Gambling
Answering yes to some of these questions does not necessarily make you a problem gambler but may indicate a problem.
- Do you sometimes spend more money and time on gambling than you can afford to?
- Do you find it hard to stop or manage your gambling?
- Do you have arguments with family or friends about money and gambling?
- Do you always think or talk about gambling?
- Do you lie about gambling or hide it from other people?
- Do you chase losses or gamble to get out of financial trouble?
- Do you gamble until all of your money is gone?
- Do you borrow money, sell possessions or do not pay bills in order to pay for gambling?
- Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz?
- Do you neglect work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling?
- Do you feel anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable because of gambling?
- Do you consider or have considered and illegal act to finance your gambling?
- Do you gamble to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
- Do you have difficulty sleeping because of gambling?
We support Gamblingcare.ie
GamblingCare is an independent charity which funds research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling-related harm in Ireland. The Gambling Awareness Trust charity is funded by donations from the online and retail betting and gaming industry in Ireland.
The main aim of GamblingCare.ie is to broaden public understanding of responsible gambling and to help those that do develop problems, or know someone that has developed a gambling problem to get the support and help that they need quickly and effectively.
If you or anybody you know is affected by problem gambling, please contact the Dunlewey National Helpline on 1800 936 725.
Further information & support can be found on www.gamblingcare.ie