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President Higgins denounces “dangerous” advertising on sports games of chance

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President Michael D Higgins said there were “serious questions” the country needed to answer about the level of sports betting advertising allowed and described sports gambling as a “scourge.”

In a statement today, the President said he spoke about the issue when the Carraig Eden drug rehabilitation center opened in Wicklow, which is operated by the Tiglin charity.

“I welcome the fact that the debate on the advertising of sports games of chance is now included in public discourse,” he said.

“Earlier this month, after meeting people who have overcome addictions of all kinds, I spoke about the scourge of sports gambling and dangerous gambling advertisements, which continue to cause so much damage. to families and individuals.

“When I spoke to Tiglin, I suggested that no one can accept that the symbolic warnings in ‘fine print’ and invitations to be ‘responsible’ are in any way proportional to the possible damage caused by the attractiveness of advertising for sports games of chance. “

It comes as RTÉ’s Prime Time held a debate this week on advertising sports gambling.

Appearing on the show, founder and former CEO of Paddy Power, Stewart Kenny, said Ireland was “so far behind in regulating the gaming industry that there was no protection for young people and the vulnerable “.

Mr Kenny said the government “for the past 20 years has been totally negligent” in regulating the gaming industry, but said it must take responsibility “for some of the developments”.

He added: “I was a part of it and I deeply regret not having been more proactive.”

Following the episode, President Higgins said today that there were “serious questions” that needed to be answered about the regulation of gambling in Ireland.

He said: “There are serious questions, which it is certainly in the public interest to have answered, about how such a degree of saturation of the media landscape with sports betting advertising has arisen, as the evidence of the damage inflicted is so obvious and should be of concern to all of us.