One man who said his days were 'consumed' by gambling has said it was never really about the money.
Eoin Coyne, who is a recovering gambling addict, was speaking as new figures estimate that 1-in-30 adults in Ireland suffer from problem gambling.
That figure is 10-times higher than a previous measure from 2019.
Mr Coyne told The Pat Kenny Show he is not surprised by the higher figure.
I haven't gambled in almost 10 years now," he said.
"Speaking about it so publicly kind of lends itself to confiding in me around their gambling.
"It's extremely prevalent and the previous estimations just didn't add up to me by the amount of people who get in contact looking for support.
"It's a lot more true to life, I think."
'Never about the money'
Mr Coyne said he was always borrowing from friends to feed his addiction.
"It was never really about the money; it was more the rush that I was getting from gambling," he said.
"I was gambling in my late teens/early 20s when I didn't have a huge income.
"I never had a lot of money to gamble with, but all of the money I did have it was predominantly going on gambling.
"I was always borrowing from friends, getting loans, getting overdrafts".
'The impact it had'
Mr Coyne said before he sought help, his day was consumed by betting.
"When I woke up in the morning the first thought in my head was how was I going to have a bet?" he said.
"What was I going to have a bet on? How much I was going to spend, how much I could possibly win.
"When I went into the shower I went over those things again in my head, and it went on like until I bet.
"By the time the nighttime came and I was ready for bed again, I was focused on the next day."
Mr Coyne said he realised he had a problem when he started gambling more online.
"It was the amount of time I was spending [gambling] and the impact it had on my life," he said.
"I felt as though it consumed 80% of my thoughts for a period, when I started gambling online especially.
"I couldn't escape it, and I wanted to."
'People wouldn't have had an idea'
Mr Coyne said he never put the two together that he was "loosing in the bookies and I never had any money - I couldn't make sense of it."
"People very close to me wouldn't have had an idea at all that I had a problem," he said
"They would have known that I liked to have a bet, that I liked to go to the bookies and have a bet on soccer, horseracing or whatever it was.
"I was extremely good at hiding it.
"I could go into the bookies and lose my week's wages, and I could walk out and put a smile on my face and pretend everything OK.
"It's called a hidden addiction and we see now, from this data, as to why it is called that," he added.
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Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Gamblers Anonymous on 01-872-1133, 087-748-5878 (10am-10pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org