McNamara Urges Government To Speed Up Introduction Of Gambling Legislation

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara has said the Government must speed up the introduction of legislation which would ban online gambling advertising and severely restrict the broadcast of gambling advertising on TV and radio.

Deputy McNamara’s comments about the proposed Gambling Regulation Bill follow newly published research by the ESRI showing that an estimated 12,000 adults in Ireland have been recorded as problem gamblers, with tens of thousands more recorded as being at risk from problem gambling.

Highlighting the matter in the Dáil, the Clare TD said, “Gambling brings in quite a lot of funds to the exchequer, but there are other ways to earn money. If we can put health warnings on wine bottles now, what is the delay in regulating gambling? Because you can’t watch a match now on television without being bombarded with advertisements trying to get young people to go online.”

He continued, “The ESRI said 12,000 people have a gambling problem in Ireland and acknowledged that figure is understated. We need to act with urgency on this issue.”

In response, Junior Justice Minister James Browne said, “I can tell the Deputy that the Committee Stage will be taken on the 11th of July. The Justice Committee insisted for four hours, a double session, so that we can clear it (Gambling Regulation Bill) off and move it on.”

When asked by Deputy McNamara when a Final Stage discussion of the legislation would take place in the Dáil, the Minister responded, “I’m in the hands of the Houses for that but I would hope that we would move quite quickly from that point on.”