Responsible Gambling Institutions

Responsible Gambling Institutions in Ireland

13 min

We list the most relevant Responsible Gambling institutions in Ireland. Find the various therapies for gambling addiction available and estimate their effectiveness with us.

Irish Responsible Gambling Institutions Full List

RG institution Type of therapy Key benefit Efficiency Access
Helplink Mental Health One-on-one and group counselling Sharing in a group diminishes relapse 75% More info
Dunlewey Addiction Services Confidential helpline and counselling Helpline available 365 days per year 65% More info
Walkinstown Greenhills Centre Group counselling Complementary therapies (massage, acupuncture) 80% More info
Cuan Mhuire Different types of therapy available Aftercare and residential transition 75% More info
Aiséirí Clinics 12-step programs, residential care Holistic approach, meditation, yoga 70% More info
Rutland Centre Residential care, outpatient program Family mobilisation workshops 80% More info
Gamblers Anonymous 12-step program Spiritual focus 65% More info
Tabor Group Different types of therapy available Community-based treatment 55% More info
Extern Problem Gambling CBT Treatment Program Community-based 75% More info
Local family resource centres Different types of therapy available Family-focused support 60% More info
Together-Razem Helpline, psychotherapy Service for Polish and Eastern European migrants 60% More info
Samaritans Volunteer support Self-help app 55% More info
Spunout Volunteer support Free non-stop helpline 55% More info
Tony J. O’Reilly One-on-one therapy Specialised motivational counselling 80% More info
The Gambling Clinic CBT therapy Reduced cost 75% More info


We analysed the efficiency of each institution’s therapy program drawing upon our diverse backgrounds.

Engaging our experts’ education in psychology – and particularly the gambler’s psychology – as well as our first-hand knowledge of the Irish market, we were able to crunch this information into a more intuitive percentual value.

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Responsible Gambling Institutions with Free Helplines

Service Telephone number Schedule
Dunlewey Addiction Services 1800 936 725 9.00am – 11.00pm
Helplink Mental Health 0818 998880 Out-of-hours
Walkinstown Greenhills 086 0278729 24/7
Spunout Text SPUNOUT @ 50808 24/7
Gamblers Anonymous 087 748 5878 10am – 10pm
Samaritans 116 123 24/7
Together-Razem (Polish) 021 439 55 88 Mondays, Thursdays
Together-Razem (Romanian) 021 439 55 88 Fridays, Saturdays

Main benefits

  • While not a therapy in itself, helplines can be of great help
  • Pathological bettors may get professional assistance at any hour
  • When the urges are confronted on the spot, it can prevent relapse
  • A free phone call may be all the gambler needs to be linked with a suitable responsible gambling institution afterwards

Is Gambling Considered a Mental Illness?

Is Gambling Considered a Mental Illness

Gambling in itself is not an illness. Most players can enjoy this form of entertainment without any repercussions over their life.

Emotionally vulnerable people are more prone to compulsive gambling

Suppose you recognize a compulsion to gamble in yourself or a loved one. In that case, refer to our practical guide and make the first steps to stop gambling addiction.


According to the Bible of psychiatry (APA’s DSM-5), problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder.

The patient has gambled uncontrollably and now they cannot refrain from their impulse to bet anymore.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Depression
  • Intense preoccupation with gambling
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Unreliability
  • Evasive behaviour
  • Secrecy
  • Dishonesty
  • Borrowing money to play
  • Debts incurred from playing
  • Social isolation

Toxic gambling habits can lead to more serious illnesses

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low-self esteem
  • Personality disorders
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Suicidal ideation

4 types of compulsive gamblers according to science

Type Main trait Symptoms
I Emotionally unstable Impulsive, substance abuse
II Poorly adapted Harm avoidance, anti-social
III Reward-sensitive Thrill-seeking, impulsive
IV Globally adapted High functioning personality

Paid vs Free Gambling Therapy Ireland

An Irish player presumed to have a gambling disorder may access free and paid therapies to get well again.

The right choice depends on a person’s psychology and the severity of their gambling problem.

Opening up with regards to your problem in a non-judgmental context is the first step to healing. You shouldn’t disregard the therapeutic value of simply talking to someone you know and trust.

Free phone counselling is the first step!

Anyone suspecting themselves or a loved one of compulsive betting should first call a free addiction helpline for an expert’s assessment .

Advanced gambling addiction may require paid, extensive therapy

Organisation Type Time Cost
Rutland Centre Outpatient facility 10 weeks €4,200
Helplink Art therapy 1 hour/session €55/session
Tabor Group CBT therapy 10 sessions €75/assessment
Cuan Mhuire Residential support 12 weeks Individual basis
The Gambling Clinic CBT therapy 10 sessions €700 or €70/session
Extern Problem Gambling CBT therapy 10 sessions Individual basis


Check with your health insurance company if they’re able to cover your treatment!

Therapies for Gambling Addiction Ireland

Therapies for Gambling Addiction Ireland

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT centres on detecting and resolving problematic thought patterns and perceptions that trigger the compulsion to gamble.

What does CBT look for?

Addicts often assume gambling fallacies. These are classic examples of thought patterns that reinforce the compulsion to gamble.

The player might think that a series of lost wagers in roulette cannot go on forever. The ball will eventually fall in a red pocket, right?

Or, they might believe that they must win when wearing a lucky charm.

But these imply an ability to control random events, which is impossible.

Motivational counselling

Motivational counselling

Motivational counselling is a form of therapeutic intervention that aims to dispel hesitancy toward quitting. It’s based on the following principles:

  • Empathic attitude toward the addict’s hesitancy
  • Understanding the mismatch between one’s behaviour and their aim
  • Non-confrontational approach
  • Reinforcement of the right perceptions about one’s state
  • Supporting the betting addict’s capacity for self-transformation

Gamblers Anonymous (12-step programs)

12 step programs originated in the 1930s as a form of spiritually-inclined group therapy for alcoholics.

Its efficiency has been proven over the years for alcohol addiction, which prompted various organisations to apply its main principles for other forms of addiction. Such principles include:

  • Sharing within a group
  • Mutual aid
  • Praying/meditation
  • Fortifying motivation
  • Forming better coping skills
  • Improving the addicts’ self-image
  • Building meaningful relationships and social networks


12-step programs can only be effective if you’re able to assume assistance from a higher power.

Family therapy

Family therapy

Family therapy works on the premise that addiction is a systemic issue rooted in family dynamics.

It can be accessed in itself or as part of a more comprehensive recovery program.

The key benefit of this therapy is that it focuses on addiction antecedents in the gambler’s family, as well as the consequences of their behaviour.

Not only the individual gambler is healed in this manner, but also the ramifications of problem gambling within their family, contributing to better success rates.

Alternative therapies for gambling addiction

Alternative therapies for gambling addiction

  • Art
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation

Essential Gambling Statistics

Essential Gambling Statistics

  • Betting prevalence in Ireland’s general population is estimated at 64.5%
  • The figure amounts to around 3 million gamblers
  • Irish players wager over €5 billion yearly
  • In 2016, Ireland was ranked third globally for betting losses
  • 12% of all Irish adults gamble in betting shops weekly
  • 3 in 4 Irish people know a problem gambler
  • Irish people affected by betting-related disorders (directly or indirectly) amount to ≈330,000

Teen gambling

Teen gambling

  • In 2010, the prevalence of teen gambling was double that of adults
  • The trend maintains its relevance for today, raising serious public health concerns
  • 1 of 10 university and post-graduate students are problem bettors

We only cite official studies from reputable addiction centres and governmental reports.

Gambling prevalence by age

Age group Prevalence
15-17 24.9%
18-24 55.5%
25-34 63.9%
35-44 70.5%
45-54 69.4%
55-64 72.4%


Lottery and scratch cards are Irish players’ favourite games across all age groups.

Problem gambling prevalence

Age group Prevalence Males Females
15-17 0.8% 0.8% 0.7%
18-24 1.1% 1.9% 0.2%
25-34 1.5% 2.9% 0.2%
35-44 0.8% 1.1% 0.4%
45-54 0.4% 0.5% 0.3%
55-64 0.6% 1.3% 0%


Irish males are more likely to develop an addiction than females (1.8% vs 0.2%).

Chasing one’s losses is a critical enabler of addiction.

Addiction prevalence by gender is confirmed by the fact that 4.7% of Irish male bettors and 1.7% of female gamblers reported chasing losses.

Does Ireland Have a Gambling Problem?

Does Ireland Have a Gambling Problem

Roughly 2% of Irish gamblers develop a disorder – twice the global average.

In the UK, problem gambling rates are estimated at around 0.7% (UKGC), with some pessimistic studies citing 2.7% (YouGov).

Considering these facts, Ireland may seem problematic. However, comparing estimated addiction prevalence doesn’t tell us very much.

Is youth gambling Ireland’s problem?

Ireland’s real problem with bis to be found in the 15-24 age group, with an approximate 2% young problem gamblers.

That’s within the global average of 1-2%, so you could say that Irish betting goes on ‘normally’.

Teen gambling addiction is a global problem!

Youngsters up to 24 years are more at risk of developing an addiction to gambling because they cannot yet form proper coping mechanisms.

We believe that a serious talk about addiction should first and foremost tackle the young’s vulnerability.

We cannot solve this issue with a top-down approach, no matter how great the government’s involvement. However, it is a parent’s duty to protect their children from gambling addiction!

Best Practices Not to Need Responsible Gambling Institutions

Responsible gambling Irresponsible gambling
Stopping when the fun stops Chasing losses
A diversified lifestyle Top priority in life is to bet
Betting purely for entertainment Betting as escapism
Bankroll management Staking without a bankroll plan
Using RG limits to enforce self-control Betting to get rich overnight
Playing a limited percent of your income Lying about your real losses
Taking breaks when betting Financing your bets through illegalities
Being open about your betting Secrecy about your gambling habits
Tracking your losses and winnings Borrowing money to bet


Academic articles

Responsible gambling institutions


Who regulates gambling in Ireland?

Currently, Ireland does not have a national gambling regulator. However, following the new gambling legislation of 2021, Ireland will establish its own gambling institution in the near future. 

Is gambling a problem in Ireland?

The prevalence of gambling addiction in Ireland is within the global average, so we cannot say Ireland has a particularly severe problem with gambling.

Are gambling debts enforceable in Ireland?

Gambling debts are unenforceable in Ireland.

What is responsible gambling?

Responsible gambling is a series of practices that allow players to avoid getting an addiction.

What is Safer Gambling Week?

The Safer Gambling Week is a yearly event in which Ireland’s gambling industry calls attention to responsible gambling, while also highlighting the past years’ accomplishments in this sphere.

What are Responsible Gambling tools?

Responsible gambling tools are online casino controls that help you limit the amount of money and time you spend playing casino games.

Cosmin Brehoi
AuthorCosmin BrehoiAuthor & Editor at Casino alpha

Since forever a student of life and a writer at his core, Cosmin loves to place bets on football matches in his free time. Combining the art of prediction and a rigorously trained intuition, he has joined the iGaming world to promote a responsible and data-driven approach to sports betting.

Adina Minculescu
ReviewerAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at Casino alpha

Adina’s methodical way of thinking is what gamblers need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, she will be able to help you make informed decisions. Let her be your trustworthy guide!