October 5, 2023
ESRI report shows government must listen to experts on Gambling Bill – Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, has today called on the government to listen to experts in Gambling Harm, and amend the proposed Gambling Regulation Bill to ensure it protects vulnerable people, families and communities.

Deputy Gould’s comments come as a report by the ESRI suggested 10% of adults have experienced problems due to gambling.

Teachta Gould said:

“We have been telling the Minister for years now that the figures on gambling were only the tip of the iceberg. Gambling addiction and harmful gambling behaviours are having devastating impacts on individuals, families, and communities right across the state. Today’s report confirms that.

“The most shocking statistic, for me, is that almost one million people have experienced some form of harm from gambling – 400,000 of these have experienced significant harm. That is a shocking indictment of the government’s failure to regulate the gambling sector.

“We now need to see the Gambling Regulation Bill progressed before the end of the year with the amendments proposed by experts accepted. Listening to lived experience, robust definitions and a proper opt-out system are crucial changes that must be made now. Instead of dismissing these, the Minister must listen to experts on the ground.

“The reality is that harmful gambling has been swept under the rug for too long. We now need a robust, dynamic, and modern Bill that protects vulnerable people. Without that, these shocking figures will continue to escalate.”

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