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Worries over relaxation on gambling advertisements

14 March, 2007

Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Francie Brolly has said that a new relaxation of a ban on TV and radio adverts for casinos, betting shops and online gambling sites may lead to more problems for people with gambling addictions.

Mr Brolly said

"Although the adverts will still be banned during shows aimed at under 18s - and anyone who appears to be under 25 cannot be shown gambling on TV or on radio there is a worry this could lead to more problems for people who have gambling addictions.

"While most people see gambling as fun and entertaining rather than as a way of making your fortune and most don't go any further apart from doing a few pounds on the weekly lottery or placing the odd bet at Cheltenham and the Grand National for others it can have a devastating effect on them and their wider family circle.

"The growth in internet gambling and premium rate quiz shows on satellite TV channels has posed major difficulties for those with gambling addictions and its now estimated that in Europe regular online gamblers area staking around £3.5bn a year, an average of £1,000 per person.

"With the introduction of gambling on the internet, gambling addicts are now faced with a new hurdle. For these addicts, resisting the urge to gamble at their local betting shop was hard enough but with this newly acquired access to gambling from the comfort of their own living room, a new type of problem has reared its ugly head. Now their addiction would be harder to resist due to the sheer availability and access of online gaming websites.

"If someone thinks a family member or that a friend of theirs may be addicted to online gambling there are numerous organisations out there that can help and they should contact them." ENDS

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