Reacting to the release of the research carried out by the Labour Party the Local Area Representative for the Labour Party in Clondalkin-Rathcoole, Chris O’Dwyer, is joining his Labour Party colleague Senator Mark Wall, in calling for immediate action on gambling adverts.
“The research carried out by the Labour Party has identified that nearly three quarters (73.5%) of Irish people know someone with a gambling problem. This is a worrying trend and a harm reduction approach is needed to support those who are in gambling recovery and in active addiction. The Labour Party has launched a Bill which would ban gambling advertising.
“The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland has indicated that there is a concerning increase in referrals in relation to gambling disorders. During the various lockdowns the gambling industry increased their advertising visibility by 80%.
“Labour’s Gambling (Prohibition of Advertising) Bill 2021, would ban all gambling advertisement in Ireland, divorcing the gambling industry from the everyday enjoyment of sports, politics and entertainment. With 80% of respondents stating that they would welcome a blanket ban on ads, the time to act is now.
“The gambling industry has worked hard to create a strong link in our minds between major sports events and betting. These ads are pushing people to gamble – 63% reported that seeing an ad makes them more likely to place a bet. The gambling companies are driving this addictive behaviour.
“There’s nothing wrong with the occasional flutter, the problem we have is where the industry is aggressively targeting people, creating a behavioural addiction in vulnerable people. The State needs to step in to stop this.
“Gambling addiction has been a silent issue for too long, and since the Labour Party published our Bill there’s been great attention and engagement on the issue online, as well as in the media and we’re proud to have opened up this conversation. Labour’s Bill wants to beat the ads and end the cycle of pain experienced by problem gamblers throughout the country.