The Saturday panel discussed gambling and sport
The influence of gambling in sport was the topic on the Saturday panel on "Off the Ball" earlier today.
Bookmakers and sport have been interlinked since the beginning but it's the people who are most vulnerable to addiction who will suffer most from this industry.
Sunday Independent journalist, Declan Lynch, argued it [gambling] is almost impossible to get away from if a person has an addictive personality and likes sport.
"Yeah if you are in any way vulnerable at all, you haven’t a hope," he said. "Maybe in other areas of life you could potentially have some addiction to something but you’ll never encounter it because you’re life doesn’t go like that"
"If you have any interest in sport at all and any vulnerability to gambling addiction, they’ll get you. There’s no way out."
"They’re always encouraging people to bet accumulators because as it’s the ultimate kind of “mug” punting. All they’re advertising is aimed at is getting those guys in. They’re dying to publicise anyone who gets a big win up to get more people in. And it’s the sort of thing: “the little guy wins a load of money, it’s a good story”. It’s a classic PR technique."
"We use the word “addiction” a lot but maybe there’s sort of more old fashioned way of looking at it like sort of immaturity. You could bracket a lot of what we call addiction to just people not growing up properly yet. And this is why some many young guys are involved in it, who by nature are not quite grown up and are immature," he added.
Dr. Gareth McGovern, who specialises in helping people who suffer from addition said: "It’s really only in the last probably 6, 7 years when I’ve opened my own clinic that I’ve seen the gambling. I’ve seen it in the context of other addictions."
"I’ve seen a lot more of it in the private sector which makes me feel there isn’t a lot of treatment out there for your average punter, particularly people who can’t afford treatment. Really we haven’t invested at all in treatment services."
"We need a whole change in this whole gambling problem in terms of the way it’s regulated."
"We’re not very good at knowing who’s vulnerable,” he added.