While gambling among adults has been rightly identified as an urgent and neglected public health issue, child health and wellbeing is also being harmed by this behaviour according to a new Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI) study. 

The document named ‘Young people who gamble in Ireland’, found there had been a “four-fold increase in engagement in online gambling” among young people aged between 17 and 20. 

The research has stated a potential need for targeted policies to focus on “higher risk groups”, including sports groups, and legislation to “restrict” gambling advertisements in sport. 

At Extern, we are acutely aware that although the health impacts of gambling among adults are increasingly recognised, it is much less the case among children and young people. Problem gambling in the early years of life is likely to be profoundly detrimental to the mental, emotional, and social health of children, to negatively impact on development and school performance, and to increase the risk of acquiring other addictions. 

Extern's Problem Gambling project continues to highlight the dangers of betting among young people as part of a series of workshops being delivered to schools across Ireland. The programme educates teenagers on identifying risks across all levels of gambling engagements, including playing the National Lottery, scratchcards and fruit machines 

Addiction Counsellor Tony O'Reilly, from Extern, recently spoke with Eoin Beatty on Friday's Kildare Today about the report. Listen back to the full interview here: 

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