Paul Kehoe, a long-serving Government Teachta Dála, has shared that the impending Gambling Regulation Bill of Ireland so far fails to recognise the importance of broadcasters to the local racing sector. He further explained that he had been literally bombarded by calls from concerned stakeholders within the sector regarding the proposed legislation.
Mr Kehoe has been a Fine Gael Teachta Dála since 2002 and even served as minister of state for the departments of the Taoiseach and Defence. He even served as government chief whip in the period from 2011 to 2016.
As Casino Guardian reported, Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV have previously threatened to withdraw their coverage in case new watershed rules were introduced regarding a proposed suspension of gambling advertising between 5:30 AM and 9:00 PM. After that, more than 40 point-to-point handlers and trainers from the Wexford constituency that is currently being represented by Paul Kehoe TD wrote to the minister of state at the Department of Justice, James Browne, to share how concerned they were about the future of the industry.
Mr Kehoe revealed that many people who work within the industry, including racecourse representatives, trainers, owners, and individuals involved in broadcasting, have approached him with similar concerns and further noted that he shares those concerns as well. He also explained that he had spoken to ministers on the issue, because there seemed to be a bigger and more serious issue as the legislation seems to be failing to recognise how important the broadcasting role is for Irish racing.
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As recently reported by The Racing Post, Ivan Yates, a broadcaster and former minister, shared that the country has to separate, distinguish and precisely describe the scope of terrestrial television and satellite subscription channels in order to make sure that the potential negative impact of the proposed Gambling Regulation Bill on the Irish racing sector was reduced.
Paul Kehoe TD is also convinced that the country’s Government needs to draw a clear line between the different platforms in order to make their regulation more adequate.
According to the Fine Gael Teachta Dála, the racing industry has a major impact on the Irish economy, so the applicable gambling laws need to take that into account and reflect it. Such a proposal was also raised in the communication that some Wexford trainers group sent to the local authorities, which urged the Government to support the industry that currently provides almost 400 full- and part-time employees and has been responsible for horse sales worth more than €45 million over the last couple of years.
Mr Kahoe shared that broadcasting rules for the different channels need to be distinctive enough because there was a major difference between subscription platforms and regular terrestrial television. Furthermore, he noted that the benefits that are being brought by the industry to the country’s economy were massive, which is an issue that also needs to be taken into account by authorities before the implementation of the impending Gambling Regulation Bill.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.