Gambling advertising must be called to a halt

Senator Mark Wall
09 July 2023
  • Government must stop dragging its feet on regulating the industry

Labour sports spokesperson Mark Wall has urged Government to take a brave stance and call for an outright ban on gambling ads as gambling legislation is set to be debated in the Justice Committee this week.

Senator Wall said:

“In print, broadcast, on social media, people are bombarded with gambling ads nonstop. The sheer volume of these ads is having a huge impact on people vulnerable to gambling addiction. We need to tackle this through legislation like Labour’s Bill to ban the ads.

“However, Government has an opportunity this week as it’s own Gambling Regulation Bill is set for scrutiny at the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

“It’s clear from stakeholders that the legislation as it currently exists will not be fit for purpose. Too much grey area remains, with key elements left purposely vague. We cannot allow the betting industry to capture this piece of legislation that aims to regulate an industry that is currently a law onto itself.

“The Government’s new gambling control bill will impose a ban on all gambling advertising between 5.30am and 9pm, but we need to see more ambition and go the full way.

“Unfortunately for those experiencing gambling addition, this does not go away after 9pm. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep at night, the gambling companies know they have us in their grip.

“The gambling industry has worked hard to create a strong link in our minds between major sports events, entertainment, even politics, and betting. Problem gambling is a behavioural addiction which is what these ads feed off of. These ads are pushing people to gamble and there are no controls in place to protect those who are vulnerable to addiction.

“What an achievement it would be if the Oireachtas sent a clear message to everyone struggling with addition in this country. It’s time to ban gambling ads.”

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