By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
President Michael D Higgins has said there are “serious questions” over the amount of sports gambling advertising in the media.
It is the second time in a number of weeks that the President has criticised advertising for betting.
Last month, he raised the issue at the formal opening of the 34-unit Carraig Eden addiction rehabilitation centre in Wicklow, run by the Tiglin charity.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr Higgins said: “I welcome the fact that the debate on sports gambling advertising has now been taken up in the public discourse.
“Earlier this month, having met with people that have overcome addictions of various kinds, I spoke of the scourge of sports gambling and the dangerous gambling advertisements, which continue to cause so much damage to families and individuals.
“When I spoke at Tiglin, I suggested that nobody can accept that the tokenistic ‘small print’ warnings and invitations to be ‘responsible’ are in any way in proportion to the possible damage being inflicted by the lure of sports gambling ads.
“There are serious questions, ones that are surely in the public interest to have answered, as to how such a high degree of saturation of the media landscape by sports betting advertisements has arisen, when the evidence of the damage being inflicted is so obvious and should be a concern to us all.”