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Irish President wants gambling advertising ban

The President of Ireland has called for a ban on gambling advertising in sport.

MichaelHiggins

President Michael Higgins said in a radio interview on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Sport: "If I had my way, I wouldn't have advertising of any access to gambling platforms in sport at all.”

Higgins was referencing recent developments regarding Irish hurling’s numerous high-profile gambling-related cases, such as Davy Glennon, who gambled away €70,000 of stolen money.

"I just think sport should be protected from it," Higgins added.

"There is no one being heavy about it. What you can do is through education obviously, through the school systems.

"But you can't do everything through education. For too long in Ireland we often ignore problems that are staring us in the face.”

Unlike other countries such as the US, the role of President in Ireland is mainly ceremonial, with many of the role’s powers limited to advising the country’s government.

However, his statements still carry a lot of weight in Ireland and can often influence the country’s politicians.

The President’s comments will be seen by the gambling industry in Ireland as a wake-up call following Italy’s decision to ban all gambling related adverts.

Amending the country’s gambling laws has proved near impossible in the country. Ireland is currently still working on finalising the Gambling Control Bill, despite its general scheme receiving government approval five years ago.

The Gambling Control Bill covers several areas of gambling, including potential restrictions on advertising.

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