Underage Play

The National Lottery Act 2013 governs the National Lottery and makes it an offence to sell or offer for sale National Lottery ticket to persons under 18 years of age.

A similar ban on underage sales is contained in the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019. This came into effect in December 2020 and this legislation has updated the licensing of gaming machines and lotteries. It set limits on stakes and prizes, and standardised the minimum age for all licensed gambling at 18 years of age.

It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to open a digital gambling account or to play gambling games through retail outlets.

Preventing underage gambling is vital as such activity can be addictive and studies have shown it can have a range of negative effects on minors such as, but not limited to:

  • Unexplained absences or late arrival to classes

  • A sudden drop in grades or late delivery of assignments/homework

  • Spending less time with family and friends and more time gambling

  • Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy

  • Bragging about gambling wins and downplaying any losses

  • Lying or becoming aggressive when asked about time and money spent on gambling

  • Prone to mood swings after a win or loss

  • Increasing interested in winning and "being right"

If you are underage, or a parent or guardian of a child you believe may be at risk of underage gambling, there is more information available at

Back to top

Gambling Support Organisations

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of people who support each other to overcome gambling problems. There are weekly member meetups, which take place throughout the country. The only requirement for membership of GA is a desire to stop gambling.

Details of meetings throughout the country can be found by clicking on the link below:

Regional Phone Numbers

  • Dublin: 01 872 1133

  • Cork: 087 285 9552

  • Galway: 086 349 4450

  • Tipperary: 085 783 1045

  • Waterford: 087 185 0294

  • Kerry: 087 426 6633

  • Belfast: 048 9024 9185

The Rutland Centre

The Rutland Centre is a registered charity, founded in 1978. For free, independent and professional help call:
1800 446 677 (9am to 11pm).

Problem Gambling Ireland

Problem Gambling Ireland was launched in 2016, and provides help for those experiencing gambling difficulties. Further information about this service can be obtained by following:

Back to top

Other Support Organisations

The Samaritans

The Samaritans provide assistance to individuals experiencing thoughts of suicide or harm, and offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like and in your own way. You don't have to be suicidal to contact them.

Freephone: 116 123


When you call the Samaritans, a trained volunteer will be available to speak to you. You don't have to give your real name or any personal information, and you can end the call whenever you like. You don't have to be suicidal to call the Samaritans. Further information about this service can be obtained by following:

Pieta House

Pieta House is a service for people who are suicidal or who have experienced self-harm. Their counselling service is completely free.

You can phone the free Pieta House 24-hour suicide helpline on 1800 247 247 or alternatively, text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)


MABS is the State's money advice service, guiding people through dealing with problem debt for more than twenty years. MABS is free, confidential and independent. There are more than sixty MABS offices around Ireland, operated on an appointment system.

Find your local MABS office by clicking on the link below:

Back to top

Online Resources/ Tools

Self-Assessment Quiz

If you are unsure whether or not your play is increasing and that you may be developing issues with gambling, you can assess your play by clicking the below link. The assessment will help you to assess if your level of gambling is causing a problem.

The assessment will give you a series of statements and ask you to select Yes or No. At the end of the assessment, you will be presented with results based on your answers and links to tools that can help you to regulate your play.

Budget Calculator

This budget calculator will help you work out how much money you spend on gambling each month. You may be surprised.

Gambling Therapy

Gambling Therapy is a UK based, free online service that provides advice and support to people affected by problem gambling. It is part of the Gordon Moody Association, which is one of the UK's leading gambling addiction treatment providers. More information can be found by clicking on the link below:

Worried about yourself or someone else?

We understand that some people might experience difficulties with their play. If you or someone you know are experiencing issues with gambling, you may want to consider installing website blocking and filtering software such as Gamban on your devices. This blocks access to all online gambling sites.


Software designed to block access to gambling websites, easy to install, affordable app.

Back to top