Dáil Éireann - Volume 504 - 13 May, 1999
Written Answers. - Underage Gambling.
Ms Shortall Ms Shortall
74. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has  been drawn to the ongoing problem in Dublin and other areas of underage gambling in gaming halls; the measures, if any, in place to deal with the problem of underage gambling in general; the specific measures, if any, he is taking to address the problem of underage gambling in gaming halls; his future plans, if any, to enhance these measures in view of the extent of the problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12524/99]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The law in relation to gaming is contained in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and section 14 of that Act renders gaming by persons under the age of 16 years unlawful. The Act also gives local authorities a facility to choose whether or not they wish gaming halls to operate legally in their areas. Arising from the exercise of this facility, gaming halls are illegal in most of the Dublin area.
The enforcement of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 is, of course, a matter for the Garda and the Director of Public Prosecutions. I am advised by the Garda that they are not aware of any particular problem at present in connection with under-age gaming. On receipt of a specific complaint, however, they will investigate and take appropriate action.
There have been many developments in the area of gaming and lotteries since the introduction of the 1956 Act and several aspects – including the question of enforcement – now merit attention. I have, accordingly, decided to undertake a comprehensive, formal review of the above legislation and preparatory work in the area has already begun in my Department. Details of the review will be announced in the near future and will involve consultation with interested parties and the general public. It is intended to bring forward proposals for consideration by Government by the end of this year.
Dáil Éireann 504 Written Answers. Underage Gambling.