Senator Mark Wall insists that gambling “has to be treated as a public health issue”.
Ireland.- Labour Party senator Mark Wall has introduced a new bill that seeks a total ban on gambling advertisements in the country.
The senator’s Gambling (Prohibition of Gambling) Bill 2021 follows an online campaign under the hashtag #BeatTheAds.
Wall recognised that there was an issue with funding in sports through sponsorship deals and that a conversation was needed.
During a speech in the Senate, Wall said gambling must be “treated as a public health issue”.
He said: “We can never justify a public health concern, and this is a public health concern, by the amount of money that may come into sport. And we had this argument around the tobacco and we had this around alcohol as well and others stepped up to the plate.
“We can never justify that with the damage that has been done to individuals. And unfortunately, that includes suicidal thoughts, and that’s what we’re hearing from those we’re talking to, that people are on the verge of suicide.”
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Labour Teachta Dála Aodhan O Riordain said: “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.
“This should be treated as a public health issue and we need to ensure that there are adequate supports in place to help those suffering from addiction”.