The Irish Minister of Justice recently said that a complete ban on Internet gambling is unrealistic as it is a world-wide phenomenon.

"We have not been able to ban pornographic material across the internet," he added.

"Try as we might at national, EU and international level, it simply has not been possible." The Minister was replying to Michael D'Arcy (FG, Wexford) who said Mr Ahern had published a report but had not tackled the problem.

"Is the Minister aware of the extent of internet gambling . . . I know that the number of young men participating in internet gambling is astonishing," Mr D'Arcy added.

"It is being carried out in the privacy of homes and even work. The Minister needs to deal with it.'' He added that, in 2006, the UK had regulated internet gambling while the US had banned it.

Mr Ahern said that while Mr D'Arcy had claimed the UK and the US had taken action, internet gambling was still going on in those countries.
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