Politician Jack Chambers is a man on a mission. The Fianna Fail Irish countryman is the leader of Ireland’s main opposition party, and Chambers is calling for change, specifically relating to the old and out dated gambling laws that date all the way back to 1956. Chambers is hell-bent on convincing government that its failure to keep up with changing times is what is, to a large extent at least, to blame for Irish citizens who are struggling to recover from problem gambling behaviour.
For once, industry experts and politicians are in agreement. The only thing that remains to be done now, and this is where extreme caution must be applied is for the old laws to be abolished and for new ones to be formulated and signed into force.
According to Chambers, more young people are struggling with gambling-related issues than ever before in the country’s history. Chambers has said that he believes the main problem to be the fact that those in positions of political power are not aware of the extent of the problem and as a result, have not been hard-pressed to find the necessary solutions.
An addiction to gambling brings many challenges to the table, including spending above and beyond one’s financial means, which often leads to unmanageable debt and hardships, loss of jobs because of problem behaviour, which tends to worsen the first-mentioned challenge by exponential measures, theft from employers as well as family members, mental health issues (this is especially prevalent in young adults), and many, many more.
The solution isn’t a total ban on gambling or sportsbetting, as this will severely impact unemployment rates and will in all likelihood not solve the problem at all, as those who suffer from problem behaviour will merely continue their stunts on illegal online casino sites. This is even worse, as unlicensed operators can pretty much do as they please, and answer to no one. Problem players often fall prey to rogue operators, which only perpetuates the ugly cycle; only this time round, with absolutely no safeguards available to those players.
All expectations point in the direction of a new law on gambling and betting being implemented by 2020. The general framework will most probably follow the typical European model, and problem issues such as loot boxes and video games will most definitely come under the loop in Ireland too.
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