Gambling regulator needed now more than ever – Thomas Gould TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central has today slammed the government for failing to bring forward a Gambling Control Bill. His comments come in light of a report by the Gambling Awareness Trust which show that 55,000 people are engaged in problem gambling in this state.
Teachta Gould said:
“This Bill was originally published in 2013. Fianna Fail brought a similar Bill forward in 2018. Yet here we are in 2021 with no Gambling Regulator.
“In January, the government said they’d have a regulator in place by the end of the summer. They are now saying they’ll publish the General Scheme of the Bill by Q3 this year.
“It’s just not good enough. In the meantime, the gambling industry is practically unregulated and there is no dedicated fund for Gambling Addiction Services.
“With a drastic increase in Betting Excise duty in the first two months of this year, it is clear that the isolation and frustration of the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed people towards online gambling. While for many, this will simply be a source of entertainment, for some the results are catastrophic.
“There is no excuse for the continued delays on this Bill. People and families are suffering because of the government’s failure to address this.
“With little to no supports for minors or vulnerable people engaged in gambling, we are going to see more and more lives destroyed by this addiction. It is 8 years since Fine Gael recognised it as a problem and yet they have continued to sit on their hands and do nothing.”