Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs and TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte has called on the National Lottery and all other companies involved in the gambling industry to cease advertising amid the COVID-19 crisis. She has called on media outlets including social media platforms to stop promoting gambling at this difficult time.
Deputy Rabbitte said:
At the best of times Ireland has a huge issue with problem gambling. Per capita, Ireland has the third highest rate of gambling losses in the world. Over 40,000 people in Ireland are known to have a gambling addiction. Problem gambling is a scourge on society and it literally destroys lives and rips families apart. I believe the temptation to participate is greater during this time of lockdown and restricted movement as people spend much more time in their homes with immediate access to betting apps and online platforms.
Deputy Rabbitte continued:
The situation is not helped when adverts promoting gambling are aired on TV, radio and social media platforms. Notifications from gambling apps and emails are also being used to encourage people to gamble.
I believe that all forms of gambling advertising should stop during this period of lockdown. I am calling on the National Lottery and all gambling companies along with media and social media platforms to commit to stopping advertising at this time.
Deputy Rabbitte concluded:
The Government needs to also show leadership on this issue. People have enough financial woes to be worrying about without adding problem gambling to the equation”, concluded Deputy Rabbitte.