A LOCAL TD has received a huge amount of criticism for his apparent support for the betting industry.
Independent TD Michael Collins recently met Boylesports chief executive Conor Gray regarding new betting tax laws which could, he claimed, put many betting shop jobs at risk in Ireland ‘and West Cork’.
‘If a favourable review won’t take place soon, it could spell the closure of these and other shops throughout rural Ireland. Eight betting shops have closed since January with up to five jobs in each shop gone,’ Deputy Collins said in a subsequent Facebook post.
However, his comments garnered a huge amount of criticism with many pointing out the ‘misery’ that the addiction of gambling brings to families.
‘The impact on families of increasingly easy access to gambling can be seen across all of our (already stretched) mental health providers,’ said one post.
‘One day the betting industry will be viewed the same way as Big Tobacco, profiting off the misery of their addicts,’ added another.
‘Gambling causes a huge amount of stress and distress and [is] destroying families even worse than alcohol. Tax the living sh** out of it,’ said another commentator.
Yet another angry writer added: ‘Do you realise how many people take their own life every year cause of compulsive gambling and how many families are affected by it, it’s shocking.’
Another writer said: ‘Personally I wouldn’t waste my time meeting anybody from the betting industry, it’s an industry built on misery and easy money being thrown around in the boom. A lot of lives have been wrecked behind closed doors to contribute to the “success” of the betting industry.’
‘Shut them all down the sooner the better,’ was another piece of advice offered.
In all the comments on Deputy Collins’ post, there were none in favour of his support of the betting industry.
In a statement to The Southern Star, Deputy Collins said he stood by his support of the industry as he feared the tax rise could hit a lot of smaller operators, and cost jobs in the sector.
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