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Home > Seanad Eireann debate. Gambling legislation: motion.

[Oireachtas] Seanad Eireann debate. Gambling legislation: motion. (27 Feb 2019)

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Senator Gerard P. Craughwell

I move: That Seanad Éireann:

- notes the establishment of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Gambling in January 2018;

- considers it appropriate that due regard be given to establishing a Gambling Regulatory Authority;

- acknowledges that problem gambling can result in the problem gambler, and their family, bearing the severest economic and personal costs;

- recognises recent research published by the UK Gambling Commission and others which provide a list of the social costs of gambling, including loss of employment, experience of bankruptcy and/or debt, loss of housing/homelessness, crime associated with gambling, relationship breakdown/problems and health-related problems;

- calls on the Government to publish the final Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Gambling and accelerate plans to introduce a Gambling Regulatory Authority.


I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, to the House to discuss a issue that is close to his heart and one on which he has expended some time. I also welcome the publication today of the first set of data on gambling in Ireland. I look forward to examining the scale of the field work, the sample size and the findings.


As an initial response, I believe that the focus on lottery tickets and scratch cards obscures the millions of euro being spent on other forms of gambling, particularly in unregulated online environments. I also welcome the news that the Government will publish the final report of the interdepartmental working group on gambling shortly. As I have the opportunity to address the Minister of State directly now, I ask him to define what "shortly" means, if we can expect to have the report before the Easter break and if we can have a specific date, please.


I will be forgiven for showing a certain level of impatience with the rate of progress on this issue, which the Minister of State will agree has been protracted. The first time I spoke in the House about gambling was on the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015, to which I introduced a number of amendments calling for warnings similar to those on cigarette packets to be displayed on online and static betting operations. It was an eye-opener for me that day to get such strong support from all sides of the House. In the end, though, the Whip was enforced and the Act was passed without my amendments. In the course of preparing those amendments, I came into contact with families and individuals whose lives were plagued by the often silent and sometimes invisible scourge of problem gambling. The following year, I held a well attended briefing on the need for a gambling control Bill to regulate the sector, a Bill for which there was widespread support……..


[To read the full debate, click here]

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Behavioural addiction
Intervention Type
27 February 2019

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