Tomorrow may be Thanksgiving for many in the US and beyond but it is also the day chosen by the Irish Responsible Gambling Board (IRGB) to launch its GambleAware.ie website. Alan Shatter T.D., Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence in Ireland will formally launch the Irish industry funded initiative GambleAware.ie in Buswells Hotel, Dublin on Thursday 24th November. GambleAware is the culmination of over two and a half years of voluntary work by a number of Irish industry figures. With support coming from bookmakers, lottery providers, bingo clubs, casinos, arcade owners and machine operators, GambleAware is in good standing to deliver on the desire of the Irish Gambling Industry to ensure socially responsible gambling to particularly protect the young and the vulnerable.
The aim of the IRGB is to be the leading provider of information, advice and support for problem gamblers and also the gambling industry in Ireland to assist in the prevention and treatment of problem gambling . The board is expected to utilise a number of channels (trade publications, website and in venue promotion) to provide advice, publications (posters, leaflets, codes of practice etc.) and training on social responsibility to gambling venue operators initially. GambleAware has announced the live operation of the National Gambling Helpline for the Republic of Ireland.
There is no empirical data on the prevalence of gambling or indeed problem gambling in the Republic of Ireland. The IRGB wishes to change this to ensure that help for those who need it is available and that operators of gambling facilities are assisted in ensuring their social responsibility obligations are fulfilled. It is an internationally recognised statistic that less than 1% of those who need help, actually seek it, and this is in jurisdictions with established responsible gaming bodies. The IRGB hopes to increase awareness of problem gambling, encourage responsible gambling and educate the public, particularly young people, about gambling.
The 33rd Annual Irish Gaming, Amusement and Casino show is to be held in Dublin on 6th and 7th March 2012. Hosting the Irish Gaming Conference, last held in 2008, the event also will host the Inaugural Social Responsibility Conference for GambleAware. Draft legislation updating Irish gambling laws is expected to be published in the Spring of 2012. The Irish Gaming Conference will cover a huge range of topics from gaming machine operation in a new regulated environment to casino licensing and any new taxation proposals. Subject matter shall deal with lotteries, bookmakers, casinos, machine operators/arcades & online providers. Renowned national and international speakers shall provide invaluable advice, comment and opinion on the €5.5bn Irish Gambling Industry to delegates. (E-11.23.11)
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