The Irish Bookmakers Association has pledged to donate €1m to a newly formed charity set up to tackle problem gambling in the country. The registered charity in question is the Gambling Awareness Trust, which aims to help tackle all forms of gambling related problems throughout the island of Ireland.
Thanks to the IBA’s donation, the Gambling Awareness Trust will have access to €1m in funding, which will be put to good use by the charity. The Gambling Awareness Trust’s aims are to fund research into gambling problems, as well as financing agencies who provide counselling and other services for problem gamblers. In addition, the charity will be running information campaigns throughout the country, to highlight the work they do.
Fianna Fail TD Jack Chambers said of the news: “Gambling addiction in Ireland has spiralled completely out of control and is causing much harm, and is ruining lives and tearing apart families in the exact same way drugs or alcohol addiction do on a daily basis.”
“The scale of gambling addiction is still not fully appreciated, and least of all by the Government, who have done absolutely nothing to try and help people with gambling addiction.”
“They have turned their backs entirely on gambling addicts. I introduced comprehensive gambling legislation along with my party colleagues which, among other things, would set up a fully empowered regulator to properly control this sector. But the government has refused to allow this legislation to proceed.”
“I am deeply concerned that the gambling industry is now pumping huge sums of money into what is effectively a public relations measure.”