Voters in a Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) referendum have approved a proposal to bar the organisation from partnering with gambling companies.
72.5% of participants voted in favour of the motion, which says the union “shall not accept advertisements or sponsorship money from any company that promotes betting or gambling” going forward.
27.5% of the 843 valid votes were against. A further 12 ballots were spoiled.
The motion also states that “the president, welfare and equality officer and ents officer shall lobby for the banning of gambling advertising and sponsorship in Ireland, in particular advertising that is targeted specifically at young people”.
The proposal was brought forward by last year’s Ents Officer Hugh McInerney and Communications & Marketing Officer Philly Holmes. TCDSU Council approved putting it to referendum in April.
Speaking to Trinity News at the time, McInerney said that the motion was not “against gambling itself; what students do with their money is completely their business.”
“This is to ensure we do not support the parasitic gambling advertising business”.
He went on to emphasise the efficacy of targeted gambling advertisements and in-game mechanisms in maintaining loss-making players as customers, saying “gambling companies know exactly who to target and how to do it”.
“In a recent Premier League match, from 15 mins before kick-off to the end of the game, gambling was mentioned, shown on screen, or advertised over 200 times” McInerney continued.
He believed that “mandating TCDSU not to take their advertising would be a step towards ensuring we do not support an industry whose one goal is to make losing money as attractive as possible”.
Voting took place online from Wednesday morning (October 6) and 5pm this evening, alongside class representative elections.