Ireland Health Experts Want Gambling Education for Children


Public health experts in Northern Ireland are requesting that students be taught about gambling harm to reduce issues once reaching adulthood.

It seems in most every part of the world, gambling education is being considered in some form or fashion. Studies and research are constantly being conducted to ensure that enough is learned about gambling so that harm can be avoided. In Northern Ireland, public health experts are weighing in, suggesting that school curriculums add problem gambling education so that children can avoid having an issue in the future.

Reviewing the Industry

Experts feel that a full review of the industry is needed to ensure that children are not currently being negatively impacted by the industry. The Faculty of Public Health has warned that advertising must be assessed regarding its impact on children. Groups are finding that children are being impacted by advertisements at a younger age in larger quantities. If the problem is not corrected, it will lead to a grown epidemic involving problem gambling among young people of all ages.

The Faculty recently submitted findings regarding the gambling industry, providing findings to the Stormont department, a group that is examining future regulation for the industry. In their study, the Faculty found that relationship breakdowns, psychological distress and hurt finances can lead to gambling.

Health professionals feel that gambling legislation needs to be reviewed by multiple departments, with strong consideration given to minimalizing the potential harm that could take place. The public health experts are supportive of introducing gambling education to schools in Northern Ireland as well as an assessment of advertising impact of teens and children.

Digital Age

Recovering gambling addict Mr. McGuigan has stated that gambling now is in an era of digital technology. Because of technology, children of a younger age have access to gambling advertisements and actual games. players can use an iPad, iPhone and other devices to wager and according to Mr. McGuigan, gaming companies are targeting young children and initiating them to gamble.

Within the Republic, teens are gambling 50% more over the past four years, based on recent study findings. This equals to around 1,200 people who are 15 and 16 years old having a gambling problem. The Faculty points out that a gambling problem can happen at any time, no matter the age, social, or societal level.

The Church of Ireland has also shown concern within the gambling industry. The Church said that they would like to see stakes stay at the same level, with no increases. Players should not be allowed to use debit or credit cards to gamble and apps as well as other mobile payment systems should be banned.

Deep concern was expressed by the Church about the increasing volume of money being spent on gambling machines. The Methodist Church is also involved, stating they feel that contactless payments should not be allowed for gaming machines. This is an option that has sprung up in many countries due to the pandemic and people’s unwillingness to use cash for transactions. The church feels that this is an easier way to spend money and might cause problems.

The Betting and Gaming Council has also put its two cents in. The BGC says that the gaming machines located at betting shops in the area as well as across Great Britain have the highest safety gambling measures in place, when compared to gaming machines in other parts of the world.

Members of the BGC make it easy for players to set a time limit as well as spending limit. The operators also offer regular safe gambling messages on the machines. The group feels that if regulatory requirements are changed it would create a larger burden financially for operators as they would have to make changes to update their operations based on the new rules.

Associate Writer: Simon loves to bet on sports as well as play online slots, and he has a keen eye for sorting out the honest sites from the not so honest.