David Stanton, a Junior Minister at the Department of Justice in Ireland recently shared his concerns about the delay in introducing new gambling laws to the country. He spoke at the Oireachtas Justice Committee recently, telling the gathering that he could help in restricting gambling advertising in the country but insisted that handling the problem was not his responsibility. He talked about his frustrations with regulation delay and called problem gambling a health issue for the citizens.
Stanton’s concerns may not reflect into concrete actions because creating gambling regulation is not his job. He reminded the gathering that problem gambling and addiction to gambling was prevalent even in areas where strong gambling regulations exist. He went on to call problem gambling a health issue which requires suitable treatment. Stanton also called upon the Department of Health to address this issue.
Critics of his stance suggest that the lawmakers’ lack of actions against controversial gaming machines. These machines have often been blamed for being the primary drivers of rising gambling addiction in the region. The minister said that he would not pass judgments on the gaming machines and could not decide if they were illegal.
The new Gaming and Lotteries Amendment Bill recommends the creation of a new regulatory body that will be responsible for all gambling activities in Ireland. It will also create a social fund that will provide professional treatment for people dealing with gambling. It will be funded by a levy on licensed gambling operators. The bill was approved by the local government recently.
Stanton said that the previous updated legislation could not make progress because it still needed some amendments to reflect the rising popularity of online gambling adequately. The recent developments of the Irish gambling industry are pushing the local authorities to step up and create a more effective approach to licensing and regulation. The legislation has to be up to date to ensure that gambling addiction doesn’t affect vulnerable individuals and doesn’t spread across the nation. The updated regulations need to come up with measures to deal with the increased number of gambling promotions and handle other problems like money laundering and frauds.
Irish regulators are facing extensive criticism for their inaction in creating gambling regulations. However, despite the rising concerns about the state of gambling, the authorities have proven to be lethargic and ineffective in their approach to tackling urgent issues.