Irish president wants to stop promotion of gambling during sports

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Sunday 29th July saw the thrilling all-Ireland hurling semi-final clash between Cork and Limerick take place, but it wasn’t the action on the field that got everyone talking, it was the comments made by President Michael D Higgins! As he spoke to RTE Radio, he voiced his concerns on how worried he was about the gambling adverts taking over sports, he went on to say that he would do all that he could to deny gambling operators the access to advertising in sports. “If I had my way, I wouldn’t have advertising of any access to gambling platforms in sport at all. I really worry when I read the cases” said the president. This comes after his recent visit to an addiction treatment centre in County Mayo, where he was shocked to see many gambling adverts splashed across the screens during his visit; “I visited the Hope House in Mayo recently who have been a great assistance to some people who have got over what is, hopefully, a terrible temporary problem” said Michael D Higgins.

No more turning a blind eye

Although the Irish President claims he has no influence on the matter, he claims that sport should keep its integrity without the influence of sports betting advertisement campaigns. Irish politicians have been subject of the news in previous years, having turning a blind eye for the need of legislation, but this is set to change. The Gambling Control Bill is still very much in production, but once launched by the country’s Department of Justice, it will regulate the gambling industry. Interfering with policy matters is not what presidents are supposed to do, which is why his comments have come as a shock for many across Ireland, but he wants to keep Irish sports free of the gambling adverts, which could solve the growing issue of gambling addiction, eradicated once and for all.

Protect sports and ban advertising!

The eye-brow-raising comments continued from the President; “I think in a way we should protect our sports of keeping them free from this kind of stuff. We need to protect our sports more. You can’t do everything through education. I just think it should be protected from it. There is no one being heavy about it. What you can do is through education, obviously, through the school systems. As well as that, we do need, and it’s not for me as President as I’m no influence except to say what I think, is that the integrity of sport means having care for everyone who participates. Having care for everyone who participates means not exposing them when in fact they are vulnerable. How you deal with vulnerabilities is by preparing them of course. But you can’t do everything through education. For too long in Ireland we often ignore problems that are staring us in the face.”