Irish horse racing groups advocate for 24-hour ban on television gambling ads

Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill is still being reviewed.
Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill is still being reviewed.

But they want subscription horseracing channels to be excluded.

Ireland.- The Dáil Éireann has been reviewing Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill (GRB) since last July, with still no sign of a timeline for implementation. However, the debate on advertising measures continues.

The bill in its current form proposes a ban on gambling advertising on radio and television between 5.30am and 9pm. The horseracing sector was particularly concerned about this and called for an exception to be made for subscription horse racing channels, a call that has been rejected so far. Now, horse racing officials are proposing a give-and-take solution: a complete 24-hour ban on gambling adverts on TV but with subscription channels excluded.

Back in 2021, the Irish Bookmakers Association voluntarily agreed to implement a whistle-to-whistle advertising ban as part of its code of conduct. This means that for sporting events before 9pm, gambling ads will not be shown from five minutes before the kick-off until five minutes after. However,  horse racing and greyhound racing were excluded from the ban.

While the Irish government agreed on the overarching regulatory terms of the Gambling Regulation Bill (GRB) back in 2022, the Bill has been held up in the lower house, the Dáil Éireann, where members have yet to complete their review of articles, particularly those related to advertising and the funding of horseracing.

The legislation, which will replace the Irish Betting Act of 1931, was due to be implemented last year, establishing the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRA) as the regulator for the sector. Anne Marie Caulfield has been appointed CEO designate of the new regulator but there is still no timeline for the bill’s implementation.

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