Irish Labour Party has unveiled draft legislation seeking to suspend all kinds of gambling advertising in the country.
In case it is given the green light, the Gambling (Prohibition of Advertising) Bill 2021 would suspend all forms of gambling advertising. The sole exception would be made for sponsorship agreements. The sponsors of the bill have explained that the proposed piece of legislation seeks to cut the ties of the gambling sector with politics, entertainment and sports.
Frankie Feighan, the Minister for Public Health and member of the Fine Gael, has already reiterated his support for the pursuit of stricter measures to be imposed on gambling advertising but he also said he would have to get himself acquainted with the text of the bill before making his final decision whether to back it or not.
The spokesperson for the Labour Party, Senator Mark Wall, has explained that gambling addiction has been a much bigger problem for the country than many people would assume. This was exactly the reason why the Labour Party has unveiled the Gambling (Prohibition of Advertising) Bill, in an effort to address the national problem that these addictions have grown into.
Proposed Bill Aimed at Cutting the Connection between Gambling and Sports
As shared by Mr Wall, the gambling expenditure in Ireland reached €9.8 billion in 2019, making it the seventh-highest on a global scale. The newly presented piece of legislation aims to prevent increasing and unnecessary encouragement of gambling by suspending all gambling ads on billboards, public transport, across the media and online platforms.
According to Mr Wall, the gambling industry has so far worked hard to establish strong links between betting and sports events. Furthermore, he explained that gambling advertising materials have been literally bombarding customers from sports broadcasts and revealed that more than 75% of broadcasts display at least one gambling ad. For the time being, gambling adverts are the type of ads that is most commonly displayed during televised sports events in Ireland and are the seventh most displayed form of advertising in general.
According to the proposed bill’s sponsors, gambling is a form of addiction and should be treated as such. The piece of legislation that is being introduced aimed at minimising the impact that gambling advertising has on local people, especially considering the fact that problem gambling should be treated as a public health issue.
One of the bill’s sponsors also highlighted evidence received from the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland, according to which there is a link between the gambling addiction rates’ growth during the coronavirus lockdowns and the high volume of gambling advertising. He also urged Irish residents to share their experience of gambling and the targeted advertising they are subjects of in order to give the country’s Government an even better perspective of the link between betting and sports.