red icon for gambling careWhat is Gambling?

Gambling is an adult leisure activity enjoyed by many people all over the world. A person is gambling whenever he or she takes the chance of losing money or belongings, and when winning or losing is decided mostly by chance.  There are a wide variety of gambling activities that can be carried out in a land based outlet or with online operators.   The main types of gambling includes betting, gaming, tote, amusements, scratch cards, card clubs and lotteries.

There are different reasons why people choose to gamble. Individuals may be gambling to win money, to socialize, for excitement or to pass time.  Gambling should be an exciting and enjoyable form of entertainment, but for some people it could become a problem or addiction.

A gambling problem or addiction can significantly impact your life and the lives of those closest to you. For many people, phoning a gambling helpline or seeking help from anyone at all can be a difficult step to take.  Talking about your gambling, or someone else’s gambling, can bring huge relief and help you start to get your life back on track. There are many support organisations available to you, so you don’t have to make changes all by yourself.

Many people can, and do, stop gambling. A supportive and professional counsellor or organisation can encourage and motivate you to take all the steps required to regain self control and direction in your life.  They have vast experience in this area, and can support and advise you through whatever path you take.


blue icon for problem gamblingGambling Definitions, as defined in the Irish Gambling Control Bill 2013;

betting” means making or accepting a bet (including when made or accepted through a betting
service or a betting exchange) on
(i) the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process, including virtual events,
(ii) the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring, or
(iii) whether anything is or is not true,
and includes pool betting.

betting service” means a service for the placing, making, receiving or acceptance of bets and
may include the services of a betting exchange (as well as direct service providers).

betting exchange” means a facility that enables persons to
(i) place or accept, through the betting exchange operator, bets with other persons; or the
likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring, or
(ii) place with the betting exchange operator bets that, on acceptance, are matched with
opposing bets placed with and accepted by the operator (so as to offset all risk to the

fixed odds betting” is a process of placing bets at pre-determined odds offered by a
bookmaker, or on a betting exchange. In such an arrangement, the return to the player will be
unaffected by any fluctuation in odds.

game of chance” includes a game in which the player participates and that has one or more of
the following features:
(i) involves both an element of chance and an element of skill,
(ii) involves an element of chance that can be eliminated by superlative skill, and
(iii) is represented as involving an element of chance,
(iv) is a game depicting virtual sporting action.

gaming” means playing for a stake a game of chance for a monetary prize or other form of
reward, and includes the playing of games available in casinos.

gambling” means
(i) gaming,
(ii) betting,
(iii) participating in a lottery,
(iv) participating in a bingo,
(v) amusements.

lottery” means:
(a) a game or activity for raising money,
(b)in which tickets are sold and a draw is held for certain prizes,
(c) where the draw is a process that relies on the chance selection of numbers or other
symbols or marks (or combinations thereof),
(d) the level of the prize won by the ticket holder being determined by the extent to
which the selected numbers, etc match those on the player’s ticket, and
(e) where, in cases where the numbers, etc required in order to win the top prize are
not matched on any ticket or record held by a player, the top prize may, in accordance
with the terms of the licence, either
• be held over until the next occasion when a draw is held, and may on that or
those occasion(s) be increased, or
• some or all of it may be added to the general pool of prizes or prize-money and
distributed amongst all remaining winners, provided the limits on prize funds as
specified in this Act are not exceeded.

spread betting” is a form of gambling in which stakes are placed not on the results of contests
but on the number of points scored etc. Winnings and losses are calculated according to the
accuracy or inaccuracy of the prediction.

stake” means a payment made for a right to play or as a condition of taking part in a game, but
does not include payment for using facilities provided for the playing of the game. [Gaming
and Lotteries Act 1956]