Together with my colleague, the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, I published the first set of data on the extent of gambling in Ireland on 27 February 2019.
The data is published in Bulletin 7 of the 2014/15 Drug Prevalence Survey and is based on fieldwork carried out between August 2014 and August 2015. The bulletin can be found on the Department of Health website.
The statistics show that many people in Ireland engage in various forms of gambling without any issue arising. Prevalence of problem gambling in the general population was 0.8% and was higher among males than females. For this small percentage of people for whom gambling is a problem, we need measures to reduce problem gambling and its impact on individuals and their families.
The survey provides a baseline of data to assist in policy formulation and future planning and action on gambling. A further survey for 2018/2019 is currently being undertaken under the auspices of the Health Research Board (HRB). This survey will also contain a specific section on gambling prevalence, with an extended range of questions.