The National Lottery, and all other companies involved in the gambling industry, must cease advertising amid the COVID-19 crisis, a Galway East TD has demanded.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on children and youth affairs, and Galway East TD, Anne Rabbitte, has called on all media outlets - traditional and online - to stop promoting gambling "at this difficult time".
According to Dep Rabbitte, Ireland, per capita, has the third highest rate of gambling losses in the world, with more than 40,000 people "known to have a gambling addiction". She said the temptation to participate will be greater during this time of lockdown, as people spend "much more time in their homes with immediate access to betting apps and online platforms".
She added: "The situation is not helped when adverts promoting gambling are aired on TV, radio, and social media platforms. Notifications from gambling apps and emails are also being used to encourage people to gamble."
As a result, she has called for a temporary ban on gambling advertising, and for the Government to "show leadership" on the issue. "People have enough financial woes to be worrying about," she said, "without adding problem gambling to the equation."