- Legal States
Luke Thompson February 19, 2021 3 min read
Irish Labor Party Wants to Ban Gambling Advertisement, Disregards Financial Loss
A Gambling advertisement ban has been called for by the Irish Labor Party, looking to stem the spread of activity many have called “out of control” and imperiling the well-being of citizens.
Growing Gambling Problems and Advertisement
Irish Labor Party spokesman for sports senator Mark Wall has called for a ban on gambling advertisement arguing that the large amount of ads urging people to bet on sports has contributed to the suffering of more than 40,000 problem gamblers.
Wall said that one in eight gamblers eventually becomes an addict and the country continues to normalize gambling in sports. His colleague and party’s spokesperson on enterprise and trade Aodhán Ó Ríordáin reiterated that the party considers including a ban on gambling advertisement in sports but stated that there could be a huge impact if there is no replacement funding.
In his words, Ó Ríordáin said that gambling addiction is “poisoning individuals and families across the country” and “Gambling advertising is in your face, it’s constant, and what we have to do now is try and address that.”
Labor Party published a draft of the set bill on Tuesday, which will be debated in the Seanad, which contained a clause that excludes several things including charity broadcasts, national lotteries and sponsored broadcasts.
Prof Colin O’Gara, a consultant addictions psychiatrist of The College of Psychiatrists, said: “We cannot continue to ignore the links between problem gambling and the enormously high volume of betting ads we are seeing at present.”
He likened gambling advertisement to smoking advertisement and much like tobacco smoking, gambling is being normalized in the country. He fears that in 10 years when they look back on the growth of gambling advertising in sport and entertainment they would ask themselves “how we let it get so out of control.”
Gambling Advertisement: In Your Face
Gambling in Ireland will be overhauled in 2021, a decision that has been long in the making. Now that the United Kingdom as a whole is pushing for clearer and more consumer-focused measures against unchecked gambling presence in society, more lawmakers are going on the offensive to regulate the activity.
Wall bemoaned how wide-spread gambling is. “It’s in your face,” he argued. The spokesperson acknowledged, though, that an honest conversation ought to be held about sports sponsorships and how teams are going to replace the income they are presently getting on gambling advertisement.
Shirt sponsorships in the United Kingdom are also coming under threat. With lawmakers having made up their mind, it’s unlikely for a legislator to leave the issue alone. Parts of gambling will have to be phased out of public spaces.