Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Concerns raised in Dáil Éireann over fundraising activities in Gambling Regulation Bill

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Amendments have been recommended before the legislation goes through. 

A number of TDs (Teachta Dála) have called for the Gambling Regulation Bill in Ireland to go back to the committee stage, with amendments debated upon in the Dáil Éireann last night.

The bill itself has been in the reporting stage since July and, once it passes through, will then move to the Seanad for further debate. 

However, concerns have been raised over a number of areas within the bill, one of which surrounding fundraising abilities within local communities. 

There was an attempt to exempt charity draws from the bill, which would mean it would not apply to charitable organisations – provided the activities were for the sole benefit of the organisation; but this was defeated.

This issue was highlighted by several TDs during the debate, including Pearse Doherty, who said: “Most people who put their hand into their pocket and give money to the Irish Cancer Society, the FAI or the GAA for the chance of winning a car or whatever do not see it as gambling. They see it as supporting an organisation that is doing so much good in their community.  

“That is why I am saying that we are revoking old, outdated legislation but what the Minister of State is doing here is seriously problematic because it will crush the fundraising ability of local organisations.” 

This comes after recent figures revealed that more than €2m ($2.1m) has been spent so far on the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, despite it not functioning just yet.  

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