In Ireland and an influential government committee has reportedly recommended instituting a prohibition against the broadcasting of any gambling advertisements on television before nine o’clock in the evening.
According to a Tuesday report from the Irish Examiner newspaper, the Committee of Justice has advised the implementation of a ban on the showing of any television marketing related to gambling before this watershed juncture while not mentioning analogous newspaper and billboard advertisements. The source detailed that such a recommendation is far stricter than in the neighboring United Kingdom where no such sanction is likely to be ordered following the conclusion of its own ongoing review.
Ireland has a population of a little over five million people while the advertising suggestion was reportedly made as part of the Joint Committee on Justice Report on Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill. This document is purportedly likely to significantly influence the language of the coming Gambling Regulation Bill, which is due to be passed into law next year, and is also said to have found evidence that the nation is home to some 3,400 teenagers ‘engaged in problem gambling.’
Other recommendations contained within the report purportedly include the mandatory introduction of automated software that would verify the age of punters who register for an online gambling account. This would reportedly be joined by the requirement for such operations to conduct background checks on applicants so as to ascertain their ‘financial vulnerabilities.’
In addition, the Committee of Justice examination reportedly advised the government to further evaluate the links between sports and gambling advertisements with particular focus on the horseracing industry so as to determine if campaigns featuring high-profile personalities has the effect of unduly influencing minors. The exercise purportedly furthermore appeared to champion the introduction of stake limits on sportsbetting but without offering any concrete opinion on whether such restrictions should be overseen by the industry or a regulatory authority.
The Irish Examiner reported that the government minister leading the Gambling Regulation Bill consultation process, James Browne, last year indicated that retail sportsbooks may moreover be asked to completely change the way they market their wares. The Fianna Fail politician purportedly noted that shop front windows could be considered a form of advertising although such land-based operations continue to remain in the dark as to how they may be impacted by the coming legislation.
James Lawless is the Chair of the Committee of Justice and he reportedly told the newspaper that the new recommendations are not binding but will certainly heighten interest across an Irish gaming industry that is soon set to experience considerable change.
Lawless reportedly told the Irish Examiner…
“Among the areas identified for further examination include the prevalence and impact of gambling advertising, particularly on young people, measures to protect vulnerable individuals from developing a problem addiction, fixed-odds betting terminals and the self-exclusion scheme for gamblers.”