Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, and spokesperson on Law Reform, Pa Daly TD, have today welcomed news of the approval of the Gambling Regulation Bill by Cabinet.
However, they have warned that the key to this legislation will be within its detail and the strength of its measures.
Teachta Gould said:
“It has taken us 14 years to get to this stage. We have heard much talk from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil but today is finally a step forward.
“We now need to see the legislation in detail to review the measures, and to ensure that what is being done will be enough.
“There are approximately 55,000 people in this state engaging in gambling in a harmful way. There are countless others indirectly impacted.
“Gambling harm has a catastrophic effect on individuals, families and communities.
“In recognising this, we must finally regulate the sector in a way that protects these vulnerable people.
“We are pleased to see the adoption of some of the measures I recently proposed in Sinn Féin’s 26 County Gambling Strategy, such as a watershed on advertising.
“These are good measures that could have a real impact on protecting people.”
Teachta Daly added:
“The Bill contains a number of measures, and the fact a CEO for the Commission has been hired is a good sign of intent.
“There is no contradiction between protecting jobs and protecting those vulnerable to gambling addiction, and this bill should go a significant degree towards addressing harm.
“Pre-legislative scrutiny for the bill was comprehensive and will hopefully yield improvements.
“I look forward to further engagement with the government, and an openness to any amendments we may move is a must from the Minister.”