Former minister for Sport, Fine Gael TD Michael Ring, has called on the government to urgently update legislation that has created a loophole which allows gambling on underage sport. Mr Ring has said he is “appalled” by this outdated legislation.

Mr Ring said that gambling addiction Ireland is a serious matter that can no longer be ignored. In addition, the current legislation which provides a loophole that allows bookmakers to offer odds on sports games played by schoolchildren, is unacceptable.

“We have a very serious problem out there of gambling addiction and I think legislation has to be brought in to deal with this,” said Mr Ring.

“This legislation goes back many many years; it needs to be updated; it needs to be updated quickly.”

“I don’t like it in sport; I don’t think it’s necessary in underage sport and I would like to see the legislation brought in to make sure that gambling in underage sport is not allowed. Here within the country itself it’s time that we looked at it and I have to say that I’m appalled to learn that now you can gamble on school games and underage games.”

“That should not be allowed particularly with the problems we have in this country in relation to gambling.”

Last week, an inter-county Gaelic footballer revealed that he had had a gambling addiction when he was a teenager and for that reason had bet against his own team in a National League game.

Mr Ring went on to say that he hopes that the new government would get support for this issue and would deal with it effectively. “We love our sport; we like to see clean sport in this country and there’s enough gambling going on – we shouldn’t have it at underage level,” he stressed.