Bad bets: Growth of online gambling

Bad bets: Growth of online gambling

Sports gambling is a huge business here, as it is in many countries.

We spent €4.3bn on it this year. A few hundred thousand more than that, though, was gambled in casinos, bingo halls and on gaming machines, ensuring Ireland’s place as one of the world’s top 10 gambling countries.

Whatever the factors driving the increase in non-sports betting — economic desperation, a misguided search for a sense of community, a quest for excitement, an inexhaustible hope that the next bet could be life-changing — the catchremains the one spelt out in the 1995 film Casino: “ … the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.”

It’s a warning that is just as applicable to online gambling — in which the casinos appear to hold all of the cards — as it is to other forms; perhaps even more so.

The Government’s plans for tougher limits on payouts from gaming machines — along with maximum stakes — arewelcome, but they do not go far enough to limit the allure and dangers in the Wild West world of online gambling.

More on this topic

Former England goalkeeper Shilton reveals decades of gambling addictionFormer England goalkeeper Shilton reveals decades of gambling addiction

UK Regulator bans punters from using credit cards for online gamblingUK Regulator bans punters from using credit cards for online gambling

Gambling issues a common trigger among footballers seeking mental health helpGambling issues a common trigger among footballers seeking mental health help

€10bn staked by Irish gamblers in 2019 dubbed a ‘very worrying’ statistic

More in this Section

David Davin-Power: McDonald plans for a parallel realityDavid Davin-Power: McDonald plans for a parallel reality

Gerard Howlin: Election likely to signal end of dominance by big two partiesGerard Howlin: Election likely to signal end of dominance by big two parties

Mick Clifford Podcast: Who is most likely to make up the next government?Mick Clifford Podcast: Who is most likely to make up the next government?

Letter to the Editor: Climate action must be a priority for new DáilLetter to the Editor: Climate action must be a priority for new Dáil


Lifestyle

Fresh water no filter: #instagood.The 10 most Instagrammed lakes in the world

A stay at tranquil hideaway The Residence is an indulgent way to unwind, rest and recuperate, says Sophie Goodall.Why this luxurious Turkish resort is the ultimate sanctuary for wellness and relaxation

The benefits of cutting down on booze can last way beyond the new year. Lauren Taylor finds out more about strategies to help make the change stick.Beyond Dry January: Is it time to reassess our relationship with alcohol in the longer term?

More From The Irish Examiner