Gamblers Anonymous Awareness Week gets under way today amid increasing numbers of people seeking help since the introduction of internet gambling, new casinos and longer opening hours for bookmakers.
Public meetings are being held across Leinster to allow people to learn more about GA and encourage those with a problem to seek help.
Gamblers Anonymous said there had been a rise in the number of people making contact with its helpline recently.
“It’s much worse now than it was. You look at how they’re after upping everything, with the internet gambling and they have bookies open to 10pm. After that you can go to casinos. So it’s everywhere, 24/7,” said a spokesman.
The introduction of telephone and internet betting means that gamblers equipped with credit cards can place bets easily and privately at any time of day.
Gamblers Anonymous, which was set up in the US in 1957, holds meetings every week in 30 separate towns and cities, ranging from Coothill in Monaghan to Enniscorthy in Wexford. There are also meetings in Dublin seven nights a week.
“GA is a family, brothers and sisters, we all help each other. Many meetings makes it easy, few meetings makes it difficult, no meetings makes it impossible. It’s as simple as that,” said the spokesman.
Any member of the public can attend this week’s public meetings to learn more about Gamblers Anonymous and how a compulsive gambler can be helped.
Awareness Week for the Leinster Region of Gamblers Anonymous will run from Saturday, September 10 to Saturday, September 17 inclusive.
Meetings will take place on:
:: Saturday, September 10 at 2.30pm in the Boys National School, Rialto, Dublin 8.
:: Sunday, September 11 at 10.30am in the Holy Spirit Church on the Sillogue Road, Ballymun, Dublin 9.
:: Monday, September 12 at 8pm in Panama Scouts Hall, Phibsborough, Dublin 7.
:: Tuesday, September 13 at 8pm in St Paul’s College, Sybill Hill Road, Raheny, Dublin 5.
:: Wednesday, September 14 at 8.30pm in the Parish Centre, City Quay, Dublin 2 and the Community Centre, Trimgate Street, Navan, Co Meath.
:: Thursday, September 15 at 8pm in Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Navan Road, Dublin 7.
:: Friday, September 16 at 8pm in St Conleth’s Church, Chapel Lane, Newbridge, Co Kildare.
:: Saturday, September 17 at 6pm in St Helena’s Resource Centre, Finglas, Dublin 11.