Irish Minister Encouraged to Restrict Gambling Ads
Senators in Ireland have made a call for restrictions to be placed on gambling adverts. The senators have been at pains to stress an urgent need for an Irish national regulator when debating the subject in parliament.
Gambling ad restrictions were called for in several statements made to James Browne, the minister in charge of gambling regulations in Ireland, regarding the future of gambling in the country. The statements were made in the Irish legislature’s upper house.
The senators have been discussing the future of Ireland’s gambling regulation, including the subjects of a new potential gambling regulator and advertising within the sector.
Mary Seery Kearney, Fine Gael senator, has stated that gambling ads should only be allowed before the watershed at 9 pm.
Kearney has spoken of a need for extra awareness regarding a female gambling addiction, too; something echoed in Great Britain where GambleAware has launched research campaigns on the subject.
Cassels Accuses Gambling Companies of Getting People Hooked Via Ads
Shane Cassels of the Fianna Fáil’ party moved to venerate James Browne in stating that he has the “toughness to see the reform process through.”
Cassels also said that the upturn in online gambling in Ireland of late had caused a rather specified problem for the territory, even more so when combined with the industry’s very targeted marketing style.
Cassels has accused the gambling industry as a whole of using advertisements to “get you hooked” and “keep you hooked”.
As well as all of this, he has openly criticised sports sponsorship agreements and has suggested that sporting entities should be strong enough to reject gambling companies as sponsors without interference from parliament. This, however, seems a very naïve view given the need for smaller sports clubs to gain crucial income, especially in the current climate.
Change Often Slow
Change regarding gambling regulations in Ireland has often been a little slow-going in the past. The Republic has been looking to establish a new gambling regulator since the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill was introduced in 2013, which wasn’t passed into law until 2019.
Senator Barry Ward of Fine Gael has now welcomed the push for a new regulator. He has spoken of his desire to see one single entity take charge rather than numerous bodies controlling various parts of the industry, including advertisements.
This has already been a long and cumbersome journey for Ireland, and the most recent start date for a new regulator has already been delayed to this year. As of now, it looks likely to be pushed again with senator Alice-Mary Higgins speaking in parliament to encourage James Browne to make sure it is in place by the end of 2022.
Higgins has said that more urgency was needed for the restriction of advertising, stating that there was a vast array of gambling-related marketing out there online, on TV and on radio, which could prove very harmful.
Similar restrictions have been added in the UK in recent times and a block on credit cards for gambling purposes.
The general feeling is that those who have a genuine interest in horse racing, football, poker, and the like and who use skill and not just luck will already know how and where to place their bets, and so advertising is somewhat redundant. Ireland now looks certain to follow suit.