Welcoming the establishment of an independent Gambling Regulatory Authority, Labour Senator Mark Wall said the Authority must be empowered to protect players and anyone suffering from a gambling problem. Calling on the government to fast-track the appointment of a regulator before 2023, Senator Wall said today marks a step in the right direction.
Senator Wall said:
“The establishment of a Gambling Authority is hugely welcome but the government must ensure that it has teeth to stamp out the predatory behaviour of some gambling operators. Particularly with the advent of online gambling, this industry has largely developed without the necessary legislative architecture to regulate it and to provide the clear transparent controls that are required to protect players and their money. This is an industry that needs to be regulated extensively due to its addictive nature.
“There’s nothing wrong with the occasional flutter but if abused, it can be dangerous. I have consistently raised the issue of problem gambling in the Seanad and have been overwhelmed with the number of people contacting my office to support Labour’s bill which would ban all gambling ads. We have a national problem with gambling in this country. In 2019, Ireland had the 7th highest gambling spend in the world – €9.8 billion (€379.51 per head). This spend is encouraged and cultivated by massive advertising campaigns by gambling companies across all forms of media.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Oireachtas and with the regulator on this issue. The volume of ads have a huge impact on children and vulnerable people. We can’t turn a bling eye any longer when we know that there are huge levels of addiction and affliction in communities up and down this country.
“We have an opportunity to be global leaders in our approach to gambling addiction in this country, and I look forward to working with government to progress this legislation without delay.”