Online Gambling Activities in Ireland: Dr Colin O’Gara speaks to Pat Kenny show
Dr Colin O’Gara, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist, spoke to Pat Kenny on NewsTalkFM about his study on online gambling activities in Ireland. This is the first national survey of its kind and was published in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine.
Listen to the full interview below:
Objectives: The aim of this study is to look at an Irish population in relation to the online gambling activities people are engaging with, the reasons for gambling online, their attitudes to online gambling and the financial/mental health consequences of online gambling.
Methods: The outline for this study was adapted from a study by McCormack et al. (2014) in relation to online gambling, with the aim of replicating this study in an Irish population. An online survey consisting of 11 categories related to online gambling was advertised online over a 7-month period. Participants answered on activities gambled online, devices used, duration of time gambling, as well mental health/financial consequences of their gambling.
Results: A total of 208 users participated in the online survey. The most popular gambling activity played was Sports Betting (26.9%) and the most commonly used device was Mobile app (68.6%). The main reason for gambling online was ‘To win money’ (84.6%), the main reason for ending gambling sessions – ‘Had something else to do’ (67.3%) and the most prominent emotion experienced – Excitement (60.6%). There were findings related to the severity of gambling addiction (75% – had to borrow or sell to fund gambling) and their attitudes towards online gambling (strongly agreed – 39.9% – The potential dangers of gambling should be advertised).
Conclusions: Online gamblers in Ireland share similar behavioural profiles to online gamblers in the United Kingdom and worldwide. The majority of participants in this research have been adversely affected from both a mental and financial perspective due to their gambling behaviours.
The IJPM also published an Editorial by Dr O’Gara on the Gambling Control Bill 2013, “a modern regulatory framework for gambling in Ireland” which “represents a decent starting point in developing player protection and much needed treatment services and research facilities for Gambling Disorder. The drafting and enactment of the Gambling Control Bill of 2013 appears to have slipped from legislative priority. The sooner this bill is enacted the better.”