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New Report shows Northern Ireland has more than Four Times as Many Problem Gamblers as England

3 May 2017

Northern Ireland has a higher proportion of ‘problem gamblers’ than any other UK region, a new report has found.

Published today, the 2016 Northern Ireland Gambling Prevalence Survey identified 2.3% of people as being problem gamblers in the UK; more than four times the figure for England, which stands at 0.5%.

11.6% of males were likely to be deemed a ‘moderate risk or problem gambler’, compared to only 3% of females.

New trends, such as the surge of online gambling is profiled in the report as the number of individuals gambling on this way more than doubles – the figure soars from 6.7% in 2010 to 15.8% today.

CARE's Northern Ireland Policy Officer, Mark Baillie

“CARE is concerned by the prevalence of gambling in this report. It shows an urgent need for the government authorities, whatever form it may take in the future, to take policy action to alleviate problem gambling”

“Problem gambling impacts not just the gambler, but also their family and friends. Crippling debt, divorce, mental health issues, job loss and suicide are just some of the effects this addiction can have”

“It has now never been easier to gamble – you do not have to even step foot in a betting shop, you can do it all on your phone at the touch of a button. This report shows a prolific rise in the number of people choosing to bet online; CARE urges greater protections to ensure that online betting sites have a duty of care to those use their sites to place a bet”

“Online gambling can be particularly devastating to those who struggle with addiction because it is so readily accessible. On this basis CARE firmly believes that there needs to be a one-stop self-exclusion tool so that the person does not have to contact each site individually. This would go a long way to help those who are desperately trying to turn their lives around and manage their addictions”


Notes to the editor:

For more information please contact Rachael Adams on 020 7227 4731 / 07851 153693 or

To read the full report click here: 2016 Northern Ireland Gambling Prevalence Survey



While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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