Politician calls for gambling legislation

POLITICIAN Alex Masket is calling for UK gambling laws to be given the go ahead; he believes that this will curb problem and addictive gambling. He is the chair of the Social Development Committee and states that passing these laws would mean that “those people who fall foul of that are protected in some way or other.”

Online gambling is seeing massive growth and Maskey suggests the problems are likely to increase unless the government steps in with new legislation: “I believe it’s a growing problem, because the more people that are enticed into that web, for most people it may be very interesting and they may be well able to control it, the law of averages tells us some people fall foul of that,” he added, urging the government to issue a clear statement on its intentions.

Maskey added the committee was “in somewhat of a limbo because we are waiting to hear whether the department or the minister are actually intending to do anything”.

“If they tell us they are intending to do nothing, then I think our committee would take the view that the department, at the very least, needs to lobby whatever government department has the responsibility for this type of industry, because it does cause harm to members of the public which we represent.”

Online gambling is also having effects on land based operators, with many bookmakers in Northern Ireland wanted to be allowed to open on Sunday in order to compete with online operators. This however is only likely to compound gambling problems.


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