Flutter Entertainment’s CEO Peter Jackson recently expressed doubts about the problem gambling rates identified by Ireland’s Gambling Regulatory Authority. However, Pete Lunn, a professor from the Economic and Social Research Institute’s Behavioral Research Unit, argued that Flutter’s understanding is based on outdated data.

According to a recent study commissioned by Ireland’s new gambling regulator, problem gambling affects 1 in 30 adults in the country. Jackson responded to these findings by expressing disbelief at the figure. He cited an NHS survey, which found that 1 in 250 adults are suffering from problem gambling, and stated that his team believes the latter figure to be more accurate. Jackson also pointed out that this figure corresponds to the problem gambling rates the company has seen in the United Kingdom.

Jackson further suggested that the Gambling Regulatory Authority and the ESRI, which compiled the report, are overstating the severity of the gambling problem. He claimed that both real-life experience and independent research suggest that gambling problems are not as prevalent as they are being portrayed.

However, Pete Lunn disagreed with Jackson’s claims, stating that Flutter’s reliance on the UK survey is based on outdated information. Lunn noted that the UKGC’s latest estimates actually show a much higher problem gambling rate. In an interview, Lunn emphasized that the anonymity of the latest surveys made people more likely to admit how much they gamble.

“Our conclusion, as independent researchers, is that the higher figures are more likely to reflect reality, because the survey methods used gave people anonymity. When responses are anonymous, people are more willing to admit how much they gamble,” said Pete Lunn.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s ongoing gambling reforms continue to be a point of contention. Irish minister James Browne, tasked with revamping the industry, criticized the industry’s “scaremongering efforts” and wrongful claims that people would face penalties for posting about their bets on social media.

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