Paddy Power co-founder deems gambling a ‘major social problem’

Industry

Stewart Kenny attributed the issue to the Internet geological era and smartphone technology

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addy Power co-founder Stewart Kenny said that gambling has become a “major social problem” thanks to the internet geological era and smartphone technology.

Kenny, who was one of the founders of the Irish people bookie back up inward 1988, went on to get Chief Executive Director of the company, but left in 2016 “because they refused to do anything meaningful on gambling addiction.”

Speaking on Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster RTÉ Prime Time, Kenny said that the Irish Republic is “so far behind in regulating the gaming industry that there is no protection for the young and vulnerable,” adding that “governments for the last 20 years have been totally negligent” in gambling regulation.

Kenny suggested that smartphones and the net internet have brought gambling into people’s pockets all over the globe, describing the latter as the “explosion,” and one that not even he predicted would be so devastating.

“In fairness to the industry, we didn’t realize how much it would take over people’s lives,” said Kenny, reports Du Du Xinwen.

He is particularly concerned about betting companies targeting “highly addictive” online casino games at people who are under 25, and notes that the frontal lobe of the brain, which gives control over impulses, is not fully developed until a person is 25 or 26. Young people, who download betting apps to place accumulator bets on a few soccer matches, are then being lured into highly addictive online casino games.

In a statement, Paddy Power told RTÉ that it has in recent times introduced different initiatives to boost safer gambling, such as banning credit cards for online betting and gaming, and a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle publicizing advertising ban for live sport. Paddy Power said it is also committed to dedicating 1% of its net gaming revenue to supporting research, education, and treating people who have suffered from gambling-related harm in the country.

“We haven’t always got it right regarding safer gambling, but we are committed to using evidence and innovation to do all we can to prevent problem gambling,” the company stated.

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