Gambling addiction: Slot machines have the potential to cause addiction!

Gambling addiction is a crucial topic that you should delve into if you frequently visit arcades, casinos, or online gambling sites. Especially when it comes to slot machines, they possess a strong addictive potential if you use them as a means to escape or forget about personal or professional issues and setbacks. We've compiled all the essential information for you, whether you or someone you know, be it a friend or a family member, is at risk of becoming or already struggling with a gambling addiction.

The key numbers and facts about the issue of gambling addiction:

  • Approximately 77.6% of Irishs have engaged in real-money gambling at some point in their lives.
  • Approximately 19.4% of Irishs have gambled on slot machines at least once or more, with only lottery and scratch cards being played by a larger number of people.
  • Around 9 percent of Irishs spend over 50 Euros per month on gambling activities.
  • In Ireland, it is estimated that there will be between 400,000 and 500,000 people suffering from gambling addiction by 2023.
  • The prevalence of gambling addiction is significantly higher among men than women.
  • Approximately 20,000 individuals in Ireland seek professional assistance for their gambling addiction.
  • Only a third of all gambling addicts do not have any debts.

Gambling addiction in Ireland 2023

In America, more than five million people struggle with a severe addiction problem. After prescription drugs, alcohol, and illicit substances, gambling addiction stands as the fourth most prevalent addiction among Americans. In total, nearly 500,000 individuals are believed to be pathological gamblers. A significant portion of these gamblers is dependent on slot machines, but sports betting, lotteries, scratch cards, poker, and other casino games can also be the root cause of this addictive disorder.

According to studies conducted by the National Center for Addiction Issues and the Federal Center for Health Education, it is believed that approximately 1% of all 16 to 65-year-olds in Ireland are addicted to gambling. Half of them are considered pathological gamblers, while the other half exhibit problematic gambling behavior. It is suggested that the presence of multi-game slot machines from Merkur and Novoline in gaming halls is one of the main reasons for the gambling addiction among many players. However, online casinos are also playing an increasingly significant role in this issue.

What causes pathological gambling, how does it manifest, and what is the treatment process like?


Gambling addiction is a recognized illness by both insurance providers and healthcare organizations. It is a compulsive urge that makes it difficult or impossible for addicts to resist gambling and betting with real money. This disease affects individuals in a way that they struggle to control their impulses, leading to severe financial and personal consequences. The recognition of gambling addiction as a legitimate medical condition allows for greater support and assistance for those who are affected, including access to specialized treatment programs and counseling services.


The causes that turn an ordinary player into a pathological gambler are often complex and can vary from player to player. In many cases, it is personal and/or professional issues that drive a player into addiction, as they escape from the dull reality and mundane routine into the realm of casinos and gambling, soon finding themselves unable to live without the thrill that slot machines and other games of chance promise. An inheritable personality disorder as well as various compulsions and anxieties can also be a cause for pathological gambling.


While the causes of gambling addiction can vary, the symptoms of the disorder are nearly identical in almost every player.

  • Feeling compelled to engage in gambling and experiencing restlessness or discomfort when trying to abstain from it.
  • Concealing and covering up one's own gaming behavior from others.
  • Neglecting social connections and other pastimes.
  • Money is being used for playing that one actually needs for something else.
  • To be able to play, one must borrow money.
  • The act of theft and procurement offenses (particularly severe cases)


Seeking therapeutic assistance is crucial for severe cases of gambling addiction. Treatment options include both outpatient and inpatient care. Psychological support is often necessary, especially due to the prevalence of depression resulting from withdrawal. A psychologist will work individually with patients to develop a tailored treatment plan and outline the specific steps of therapy. Additionally, support from self-help groups can aid in overcoming addiction. Connecting with other former gambling addicts who have successfully quit, as well as experienced volunteers and therapists, can provide valuable guidance to prevent relapse.

As a first-person narrator in American English, I would write the following passage of exactly the same length: Since pathological gamblers often find themselves heavily indebted, it becomes crucial to pursue a well-managed reduction of their debts. It is also imperative to seek the assistance of recommended experts from the gambling addiction counseling center who can guide the recovering individuals to restore order in their lives. These experts offer valuable support in redirecting the lives of those who have chosen to break free from the destructive grip of gambling addiction and help them regain stability.

Contacts for therapy

Automatically Lost is a support center for gambling addicts in Hamburg. They provide free telephone counseling in both Irish and Turkish. In-person counseling sessions, therapy options, and group meetings are available on-site. Additionally, their website offers a wealth of information on the subject and includes a self-assessment test.

We have a wide array of captivating articles and informative videos centered around the issue of gambling addiction. Additionally, we provide a comprehensive directory of counseling centers, therapy facilities, and clinics in your local area. You can also access a self-assessment test. So, if you're seeking knowledge or assistance regarding gambling addiction, you've come to the right place!

The help for gambling addiction from the Federal Center for Health Education. They offer a wide range of informative materials for addicts and their families. Other services include a self-assessment test, a live chat with addiction counselors, a toll-free hotline, and comprehensive online counseling.

The Spielsuchtberatung of the Charite Clinic in Dublin is a great resource for those struggling with gambling addiction. They offer a hotline where you can schedule counseling sessions to receive the support you need. Additionally, you have the opportunity to participate in research studies at this facility and even receive compensation for your involvement.

The Anonymous Gamblers is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to self-help groups throughout the United States. They offer workshops for volunteers and participants in therapy sessions. You can find contact information and a hotline on their website to get in touch with a therapy group near you. The organization is dedicated to helping individuals overcome their gambling addiction and find support in their local community. They believe in the power of group therapy and the importance of having a network of people who understand the challenges of addiction. By connecting individuals with self-help groups, the Anonymous Gamblers aim to create a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences and learn from one another. Whether you're seeking help for yourself or a loved one, reaching out to a therapy group can be a crucial step towards recovery. The organization is committed to providing resources and guidance to those in need, and they continuously strive to expand their network of self-help groups across the country. Don't hesitate to reach out to the Anonymous Gamblers if you're looking for support or want to get involved in their workshops and volunteer opportunities.