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Council appeals for ramping up of rules around online gambling

GAMBLING online was described as being “out of control” in Clare, at the monthly meeting of the county council.

Calling on the minister for justice to update the legislation and appoint a regulator, Councillor PJ Ryan outlined how he had been contacted by the mother of someone who spent all of his money, overnight, by gambling online. “The woman who has a son in college forwarded him money on a Friday night and by the next day at 9.15am, he had used all of it for online gambling,” the Independent member said. “Online gambling is a serious, serious problem and there has been not update to the law on gambling since 1931. Another woman told me that her husband, who is working from home, is gambling most of his wages online and she never realised it. It is too easy to do it. If a ten year old child gets their father’s credit card, they can gamble online. It’s a very serious problem that isn’t highlighted enough because of the shame surrounding it. The majority of bookies offices are responsible and wouldn’t take a large bet from a young person. It’s time now for the minister to step up and address this situation.”

Councillor Pat Daly gave his support to the motion, saying, “Gambling is rampant, especially online because the bookies are closed. A regulator is needed. I have experience of this myself and seen first-hand the level of addiction in the town and county and it’s out of control. A person could gamble their house away in one day. The big problem is the advertising of gambling on television and that should be banned here.”

Mayor of Clare, Councillor Mary Howard gave her support to the motion saying she had been involved in a school project on the subject. “Coláiste Mhuire found that young lads who are involved in sport are getting their kicks from online gambling,” she said, thanking Councillor Daly for his honesty. “I have also heard about mobile bookies going around and that is very wrong,” she addeed.

The motion was seconded by Councillor Pat McMahon.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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