April 24, 2024
Government’s Gambling Bill will stop sports clubs and community organisations raising necessary funds – Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has said that the government’s Gambling Bill must be amended to avoid punishing sport clubs and charitable organisations.

Speaking ahead of this evening’s Justice Committee debate, he said that the bill conflates fundraising with gambling, and that failure to address this issue would cost local sporting clubs, charities and community organisations thousands of euros in necessary fundraising.

Teachta Daly said:

“Sporting clubs and charities have significant concerns regarding the impact the government’s Gambling Bill will have on fundraising efforts.

“The bill, as it is currently drafted, would place considerable barriers in place for local organisations, drastically restricting their ability to fundraise.

“It conflates fundraising lotteries with gambling, despite there being no evidence of gambling harm provided to justify such onerous regulations.

“Its sweeping measures would have a far-reaching and negative impact on local sporting clubs, hospices, tidy town groups and many other philanthropic organisations.

“These organisations heavily rely on fundraising to keep the show on the road. The effect of this bill would be to leave them with one hand tied behind their backs.

“There is broad agreement that gambling companies require significant regulations and an empowered regulator but this bill completely oversteps that.

“In spite of the concerns raised, the government has ploughed ahead with blunt measures that would leave local communities counting the cost.

“Sinn Féin moved a number of amendments, including one which would exempt charities and sports clubs from the provisions of the Bill, provided that the funds from any activity are for their benefit alone.

“This bill must deliver for ordinary people, voluntary organisations and those in recovery, while preserving jobs and protecting sources of fundraising.

“Its current wording does not do that, and Sinn Féin will have to reflect on our support if the government does not address these concerns.”

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