Mourning Couple Determined to Introduce All-Island Problem Gambling Awareness Campaign after Losing Their Son Tragically

Mourning Couple Determined to Introduce All-Island Problem Gambling Awareness Campaign after Losing Their Son TragicallyPete and Sadie Keogh from Fermanagh, who lost their son Lewis due to gambling-related suicide, are adamant in their decision to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the risks of problem gambling. They intend to roll out the education program all over Ireland and reach as many people as possible.

In 2021, the couple, along with the charity organization Gambling with Lives (established by other grieving families), launched a pilot education program in Northern Ireland schools, attempting to warn young adults about the negative consequences of problem gambling. For several years, Pete and Sadie Keogh have been urging lawmakers to change the legislation and save other parents from facing the problem they had.

Now the couple inches closer to introducing all-island initiatives for its campaign after Fine Gael Senator Emer Currie invited the Keoghs and Gambling with Lives to the Oireachtas to meet senators and legislators and discuss potential measures to combat growing gambling addiction rates. Ms. Currie backed the proposal of introducing a gambling awareness education program in secondary schools.

She added that discussions with the youth organization Foróige are underway, and its work perfectly complements the idea of Gambling with Lives to inform young people about the possible harms of problem gambling. Ms. Currie said measures to prevent young people from developing gambling problems were needed throughout the island.

Over 130,000 Irish People Experience Gambling Problems, Which Means Responsible Gambling Programs are Needed

Ms. Currie believes that every family in Ireland is aware of the problems gambling can cause. She, however, added that she is also a mother and fully understands the Keoghs’ pain. The senator said that lawmakers must do something to prevent young people from problem gambling. Ms. Currie is determined to use all means to roll out this education program in local communities. In North Ireland, they use youth clubs and sporting organizations to introduce the responsible gambling problem to local communities.

According to research published several days ago, 12,000 people living in Ireland, or 0.3% of the population, have been classified as problem gamblers. At the same time, 35,000, or 0.9% of all Irish people are at moderate risk, while 90,000, or 2.3% of the population, are at low risk of developing gambling problems. According to the review by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), unregulated social casino games are the main reason for problem gambling among many Irish people.

Social games do not require players to make a monetary payment to pay. Players are given virtual currency, which cannot be cashed out. When players consume all their credits, they can watch ads, wait a specific period of time, or buy this currency with real money to continue playing.