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Gambling is an act which involves betting money or sometimes personal belongings with the aim of winning a reward. This act can result in a win or a loss.

Why do people gamble?

People sometimes gamble for enjoyment. Gambling can, however, also become a habit or an addiction for some. It can cause difficulties for these people and the people around them.

What does gambling involve?

Gambling can include:

  • Casinos
  • Arcades
  • Bookmakers or betting shops
  • Scratch cards or lotto tickets
  • Apps or betting websites

Legal Ages

In Ireland a person must be over the age of 18 to be in a bookmakers, buy a lotto ticket or legally gamble. A young person can engage in gaming at an amusement hall or funfair from the age of 16.

What are the signs someone might be struggling with gambling?

  • Borrowing money to gamble.
  • Spending a lot of time online using gambling sites or apps.
  • An increased interest in news sites and sports results.
  • No explanation for having large amounts of cash or expensive items.
  • Intense mood swings, especially after winning or losing a bet.

It's natural to be worried about a loved one's gambling habits

It’s natural to be worried about a loved one’s gambling habits

  • Gambling may affect a person’s relationship with their family or friends.
  • Gambling may lead to money problems or difficulties.
  • Even if a person is losing money, friends and family, they may continue to gamble.
  • It’s important to remember that you’re not responsible for a person who gambles, and they have the right to access support.

A right to support

People of all ages may be affected by gambling – a parent, a carer or even a young person. It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for a person who gambles – they, and you, have a right to support. 

If you are worried about your own habits or a loved one’s, you’re not alone. Childline is here to listen to you and support you. 

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