Irish Labour Party rolls out new law to ban betting advertising
Recently, the Irish Labour Party has introduced a new draft bill "Gambling (Advertising Prohibition) Bill 2021" aimed at banning betting advertisements. If the draft bill can be successfully passed into law, all forms of betting advertising in Ireland will be banned and the gaming industry will be distinguished from sports and entertainment.
Mark Wall, a senator and a spokesman for the Labor Party, said: "Gambling addiction is a silent scourge. This is why the Labor Party hopes to pass legislation to solve this national problem." In 2019, The Irish's total gaming expenditure is 9.8 billion euros (approximately 379.51 euros per capita), ranking 7th in the world. If gambling advertisements are banned in the form of legislation, the undesirable stimulus that encourages people to participate in gambling can be effectively curbed, and people's participation in gambling can be reduced by prohibiting the publication of gambling advertisements in the media, public transportation, billboards, and the Internet.
Wall believes that betting companies have been working hard to establish a close connection between major sports events and sports betting in the minds of the people. When watching a game, people will be reminded to download a betting app or bet on the score. In terms of broadcasting media alone, 75.4% of sports broadcasting programs will show at least one betting advertisement. In fact, betting advertisements are the most common advertisements for sports events broadcast on Irish television.
In Ireland, not only did the Labour Party call for attention to the problem of people’s addiction to gambling, sports organizations have also issued similar appeals. Earlier, Ireland's two major sports authorities-the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) also called for a ban on betting advertisements.
Both the GAA and GPA have implemented independent bans to ban betting advertisements in Gaelic football and hockey games. GPA administrator Jennifer Rogers said the organization will "vigorously promote" stricter regulation. Colin Regan, the "Community and Health Manager" of the GAA, advocated that Ireland's sports organizations unite and demand that the government increase its intervention to end the proliferation of betting advertisements. In addition, the Irish College of Psychiatrists has also been calling for an "emergency prohibition" of betting advertisements.
Senator Wall believes that the need to combat betting advertisements is now more urgent than ever, because in recent years, due to the popularity of smart phones, people can easily participate in betting activities. In the past, because people had to go to betting venues, the losses caused by gambling in this way were limited, but now anyone can easily participate in gambling on a mobile phone. The pressure brought by the new crown pneumonia epidemic has posed challenges to people's self-control ability, especially for gambling addicts, who are more likely to "relapse" at this time.
Aodhan ORiordain, deputy representative of the Labor Party, said: “Participating in gambling activities is an addictive behavior and should be regarded as a public health issue. We should have banned gambling advertising long ago. Now introduce legislation to prohibit the gambling industry. Manipulating people’s minds is the first step in solving this problem."