The Irish Labour Party has proposed that there should be a ban on all forms of gambling advertising in the country, hoping to protect vulnerable people from the harm associated with the activity.
“Gambling addiction is a silent scourge across the nation, which is why the Labour Party has published legislation to address this national problem,” explained the Irish Labour Party’s spokesperson on sport, senator Mark Wall.
Excessive and irresponsible advertising
“In 2019, Ireland had the 7th highest gambling spend in the world at €9.8 billion (or €379.51 per head). Our legislation to ‘#BeatTheAds’ will prevent unnecessary encouragement of gambling – banning all gambling ads across the media, on public transport, billboards and online outlets.”
Wall went on to say that the gambling industry has created a strong link between sporting and betting in the public’s mind, which is irresponsible and dangerous. He claimed the amount of advertising during sports broadcasts was excessive.
Currently, gambling ads are the most common form of marketing during televised sports and the seventh most common form of marketing overall. The Irish Labour Party also pointed out that with betting being readily available on mobile nowadays, problem gambling has been exacerbated.
“Gambling is an addiction and it should be treated as such. We’re introducing legislation to ban the manipulation carried out by the industry which is one step forward in addressing this issue,” said Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of the Irish Labour Party.
Problem gambling and advertising are linked
Ó Ríordáin also pointed out what the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland has said; that there is a connection between a high volume of gambling ads in the country and an increase in problem gambling during coronavirus lockdowns. This is because adverts can become secondary reinforcers of addiction.
The leader of the Irish Labour Party, Alan Kelly, also sounded off: “During the pandemic, I can guarantee we will see a crisis due to gambling because people are spending so much time isolated, on their own or in family settings. It is so deadly dangerous. It needs to be fully regulated and advertising needs to be dealt with.”