Info and Advice


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.
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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. 

Contact Childline

Childline is always here to listen and to support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), text Childline on 50101 (10am – 4am every day) or chat with Childline online

Talking helps!


1800 66 66 66