Irish Senators Attack New Gambling Bill for Not Covering Lotteries

Lawmakers in Ireland have been debating a new gambling bill that aims to guarantee a fair market while protecting players from gambling harm.

New Irish gambling bill sees opposition due to not covering lottery games.

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The bill includes new restrictions on gambling advertising with a ban proposed between the hours of 5:30 pm and 9 pm, and it will help raise more funds for gambling charities. It will also introduce changes to licensing, establish a new gambling regulator, and strengthen the operators’ duty to gamblers.

Bill Accused of Lacking Integrity

The bill has already been passed Ireland’s lower house, Dáil Éireann, and from there, it headed to the Seanad for further scrutiny.

According to Minister of State James Browne, the legislation strikes a balance between freedom to gamble and protection against gambling harms. However, the bill has met opposition in the Seanad with independent senator Rónán Mullen arguing that the bill lacks “integrity” as it does not cover lottery games such as Euro Millions and called for them to be regulated by the Department of Public Expenditure.

Mullen also attacked the volume of advertising carried out by the National Lottery saying, “It is no argument to say it is making money for the State. This approach has no integrity.”

More Regulation News

Heated Debate on Gambling Advertising Ban

Labor Senator Mark Wall provided another voice in the debate and focused on the importance of enforcing restrictions on gambling advertising. He is calling for a 24/7 ban similar to those implemented in countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Wall claimed that 9 pm is a “prime time for many of those with an addiction” and expressed his dismay at the lack of support for a 24/7 ban.

However, Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley warned of the potential for unintended consequences that could arise from an advertising ban. He brought up concerns raised by Racing TV and Sky Sports about the Irish racing industry and warned that removing racing from television “would represent a terrible blow to their livelihoods and local economies.”


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