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Gambling addiction

Sir, – The Gambling Control Bill of 2013 appears to have slipped away from legislative priority.

This is of particular concern to those of us providing medical care for patients and families affected by severe gambling addiction.

As a society, we continue to allow ourselves and our children to be bombarded by gambling adverts in the mainstream media, online and during sporting events.

More and more of our young people are coming forward courageously to speak about the devastating effects of gambling addiction, including online gambling.

The Gambling Control Bill of 2013 represents a decent starting point in modernising Ireland’s legislative framework around gambling, including the introduction of an Office for Gambling Control.

In addition, the Bill promises funding for much-needed medical treatment services and scientific research into gambling addiction in Ireland.

For these reasons and many more contained within the Bill, it is imperative that this legislation is enacted without further delay. – Yours, etc,

Dr COLIN O’GARA,

Consultant Addiction

Psychiatrist,

Associate

Clinical Professor,

UCD School

of Medicine,

Saint John of God Hospital,

Stillorgan,

Co Dublin.