Belfast Councilor John Kyle has spoken out recently on gambling legislation in Northern Ireland. The Councilor feels that stricter action needs to be taken to ensure that vulnerable individuals are protected. Kyle pointed out during a recent meeting that problem gambling in the region is challenging and needs further attention from officials.
At the beginning of the week, the Belfast City Council began reviewing the issue and Kyle highlighted the importance of helping with problem gambling. Research from just a few years ago shows that there are more problem gamblers in the Northern Ireland region than in any other area of the United Kingdom. There is no support for such problems as gambling addiction and little regulation in place to help those who suffer from the issue.
The current legislation regarding gambling in Northern Ireland dates back to 1985, which helps to explain the issue when it comes to online gambling regulation. Over the past few years, calls have been made to see changes regarding the law but nothing has come from such campaigns.
According to Councilor Kyle, the problem gambling challenge is a serious one and something that should not be ignored. Authorities must come up with a better way to protect vulnerable people from harm when it comes to compulsive gambling and the potential exploitation of such players via gambling operators.
To help with the problem, Kyle wants to see gambling companies spend millions to put towards the prevention as well as treatment of gambling addiction. According to Kyle, the contributions made currently are not sufficient and a mandatory price point needs to be introduced so operators can better contribute to the industry.
Right now, there are no current figures regarding the number of individuals affected by problem gambling in Northern Ireland. This is due to lack of gambling specific services and the inability for those who are affected to seek the help they need.