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SiGMA

Ireland steps closer to regulating gambling and betting

Posted:: Oct 21, 2021 13:15 Category: Casino , Online , Regulatory , Posted by
Maria Debrincat

Ireland aims to reform its gaming laws, which were enacted in 1931 and 1956

According to The Irish Times, new legislation that would reform Ireland’s regulatory control of the betting and gaming sector is nearing completion.

On Wednesday The publication stated that a long-anticipated regulator will be created and that free bets, as well as VIP treatment of select gamblers, will be prohibited.  Following the passage of the Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act, a new regulator to supervise both the gaming and betting sectors have been discussed. The Act’s major objective is to update the country’s gaming legislation, which goes back to 1931 and 1956.

In a speech to the Seanad Éireann in July, Minister of State for Justice James Browne described the scope and powers of the ‘extremely powerful’ new body.

minister of state for justice james browne
Minister of State for Justice James Browne.

Browne stated that the authority will employ 100 employees and will have the authority to create new laws and codes of conduct, as well as the capacity to levy fines in situations of non-compliance.

The regulator will also be allowed to cancel or suspend gaming licenses, freeze player accounts, and limit payments to operators, according to The Irish Times‘ latest update.

The new legislation also includes the creation of a social impact fund, which will use a betting fee to support addiction treatment and other social responsibility and gambling harm awareness activities.

Finally, gambling advertising will be handled, with the new regulator having the authority to establish regulations that regulate the time and frequency of betting and gaming advertisements on television, radio, and digital media.

Due to the heavy schedule of horse racing and domestic and international sports, Minister Browne stated that it would be “challenging to find a way of effectively banning advertising.” However, he added that Irish administrators would be monitoring the results of the UK Gambling Act review, which has also seen strong scrutiny of advertising.

Furthermore, Ireland’s President, Michael Higgins, has backed a crackdown on betting and gaming advertising, calling gambling promotion “dangerous” and the larger sports betting sector a “scourge.”

The Irish Labour Party, the Head of State’s previous parliamentary party, has also filed legislation in the Oireachtas with the goal of establishing a blanket ban on television betting ads.

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