Irish government contemplates banning betting ads
The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland has urged the Irish government to set a ban on betting ads. This news follows the release of the Gambling Disorder Position Paper just last week which stated that problem gambling was a “public health crisis”.
In the report, it was mentioned that lockdown in Ireland due to COVID-19 is behind the growth of problem gambling. The College of Psychiatrists claimed that this was a “hidden pandemic” and needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
Since the amount of people working from home is increasing, and many feel isolated as a result of local and national lockdowns, online gambling figures are skyrocketing. The report suggested that some measures could possibly help with the reduction of this pandemic, including advertising controls and public education.
The professors who contributed to the paper felt that there was a strong link between problem gambling and the amount of ads that are based on this topic. Some even compared it to tobacco ads which were previously banned.
Professor Colin O’Gara stated: “We cannot continue to ignore the links between problem gambling and the current high volume of betting ads – be that in traditional TV ads or on team jerseys and side-line banners.”
The paper also said: “All gambling advertising-related activity should be closely monitored by an independent regulator. The independent regulator should be aware of the influence social media advertising can have on children and adolescents” and “the independent regulator should also be aware of the use of micro-transactions and loot boxes in online gaming, described as ‘virtual games of chance.”
Although this is just a report, for now, the Irish government will probably take note of this and consider setting new measures in place in 2021. Affiliates and operators in Ireland should make sure to stay updated on any changes that might be put in place regarding betting ads.