A colleague has pointed out this Economist piece on gambling to me. Check out the figures on average annual gambling losses per resident adult, and where Ireland comes in the list: am I the only one who thinks these numbers are enormous? Or that we should perhaps be worried about them — especially the very large online component?

(This also gives me an excuse to complain about the FAI’s League of Ireland streaming deal with an online gambling company.)

5 replies on “Gambling”

‘Gaming’ is to gambling as ‘credit’ is to debt. Branding is a powerful thing. Under-reported consequences and the ‘gaming industry is expertly marketed in Ireland – very asymmetric since gamblers do not talk about losses.

Granularity to be found in Joe Duffy podcasts I believe, though there is an element of money laundering in gambling which probably distorts the figures a bit.

First reaction when you see a strange data point should always be, check the data, not fulminate. Not sure which way you’re leaning when you say “am I the only one who thinks these numbers are enormous?”. Hopefully you mean to be in the data-sceptical camp, because as you note a big part of the alleged Irish behaviour is online gambling, and there are good reasons to be wary of the quality of online data.

Gambling is a feature of capitalism—not a bug

It has always been part of financial markets, from their origins in 17th-century coffee houses to the Great Crash of 2008 by John Kay

‘The coexistence of insurance and gambling goes back to the earliest days of markets in risk, and the interaction of the two has been central to financial history. But it was four developments in the second half of the 17th century that combined to frame the way we think about risk, and the institutions we have for dealing with it, through to the present day.’

Course the cost of the biggest punt of all had to be picked up by the suckers in the Hibernian Citizenry …. where’s the risk? Qui bono?

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