Irish Racing Not Keen on Proposed Ban on Gambling Advertisements

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Stakeholders in the Irish racing industry are worried that proposed legal restrictions on gambling advertising in Ireland will have a major impact on their revenue sources.

This relates to the Gambling Regulation Bill, which was introduced by Justice Minister James Browne in November 2022 and is now ready to be implemented by Oireachtas the Irish parliament.

The gambling legislation in Ireland has not been changed for decades, and politicians want to update the law to reflect a modern society where customers are able to place a wager on many platforms and throughout the day.

Related: Irish Government Publishes Gambling Regulation Bill

There are several key provisions outlined in the new law, including the creation of a Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) and a Social Impact Fund (SIF). With money raised from gaming operators, these organizations would introduce and oversee responsible gaming, treatment for gambling addicts, and set up a self-exclusion register.

Members of the racing industry have calculated the impact the ban may have and are keen to point out that there are an estimated 30,000 people employed in racing in Ireland, and the business generates an annual revenue of €2.46 billion.

Related: Irish Minister Supports a Proposed 3% Increase in Betting Levy

Reason for Ban on Television Gambling Adverts

The central part of the proposed ban on advertising is it will be prohibited from running adverts on television platforms between 5.30 a.m. and 9.00 p.m.

The politicians included this provision because they want to reduce the exposure to gambling faced by children who watch television during the day and one of the groups in society that are vulnerable to gaming adverts.

The gambling industry has worked hard to create a strong link in our minds between major sports events and betting, Problem gambling is a behavioral addiction, which is what these ads feed off. These ads are pushing people to gamble, and there are no controls in place to protect those who are vulnerable to addiction.

Senator Mark WallSports Spokesperson for the Irish Labour Party

Related: Dutch Ad Ban Set for 1st of July Deadline

Racing TV Casts Doubt over Continued Coverage

The racing industry has been vocal in its opposition to the planned changes and the Racecourse Media Group that operates Racing TV in Ireland has stated how this change could devastate the whole industry.

Racing TV is broadcast to many viewers outside of Ireland and carries advertisements from gambling companies designed for a global audience. This ban would have a dramatic effect on the revenues of Racing TV and the operators have questioned if it would even be viable to continue broadcasting.

They believe the Irish government should make Racing TV and similar media platforms specialist broadcasters that are excluded from the ban on gambling advertisements. This is the case in the UK and Australia, where the broadcasters argue that these are subscriptions channels and as such customers are required to be over 18 to register with the sites.

Related: Greyhound Racing in NSW Raise Concerns over Gambling Ad Ban

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