Gambling habit needs to be tackled in the identical means as smoking, Taoiseach says – The Irish Instances

Gambling habit needs to be handled in the identical means as smoking has been tackled with “the full gamut of advertising regulation”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has stated.

He was responding to questions on the attendance by some Government TDs and Senators at Punchestown Races as company of the Irish Bookmakers Association.

Their attendance on the races got here at a time when the Coalition is planning to strengthen legal guidelines surrounding playing together with plans to limit promoting and to usher in a playing regulator.

Mr Martin was requested if the politicians concerned ought to apologise for attending the occasion.

He stated: “I’m not going to personalise it… I think lessons need to be learned from this in terms of getting on the side of working towards dealing with the addictions that flow from gambling.”

He stated the Minister of State for Justice James Browne has been “pioneering very comprehensive legislation to deal with the gambling issue and to deal with addiction more generally, but particularly gambling.”

Of the Punchestown difficulty he stated: “Perhaps it reflects a broader issue and complacency around society” and added: “I don’t believe in going after witch-hunts about individuals”.

Mr Martin stated: “I think the more important point is that we need to profile how challenging or how traumatic the gambling addiction is and the impact it has on families and on individuals.

“It is a shocking addiction because it can wreak havoc”.

“So I would prefer to bring people with me on a journey to really dealing with gambling, like we’ve been dealing with tobacco, like we’ve been dealing with alcohol… and that means across the full gamut of advertising regulation and so on.”

Mr Martin – who introduced within the office smoking ban when he was Minister for Health – conceded that efforts on alcohol haven’t been as profitable as these associated to tobacco.

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