Ireland: Several Gambling Reform Measures Expected to be Implemented

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Communicated Content – In Ireland, gambling is primarily regulated by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. The act has been amended more than 20 times since it was first implemented; however, these amendments have largely focused on expanding the types of gaming that can be offered by operators. With the Irish government looking to reform its gambling laws, operators both in Ireland and abroad are keeping a close eye on how this will impact them. At the moment, there are several measures that are expected to be implemented as part of the new gambling regulations.


The creation of a regulatory body within this jurisdiction is something not only new online casinos should take heed of, needless to say. Updates may very well mean providers already in operation may need to take into account what’s acceptable or not.


Regulations for Gambling Operators

There has been much debate over whether existing legislation is sufficient when it comes to tackling problem gambling and preventing minors from accessing gambling services. However, many operators have welcomed the proposed changes to licensing requirements, advertising, and age verification procedures which they believe will help protect consumers while also supporting responsible gaming initiatives.


Through the legislation, which is led by Minister for Law Reform James Browne, a new licensing and regulatory regime in the sector will be established. An independent statutory authority, the Gambling Regulatory Authority, will be created to regulate the industry.


There is currently no cohesive approach to controlling gambling in Ireland. This is due to the fact that the regulation is split between several government departments, including the ministries of justice and equality, the Irish Tax Authority, and the district courts.


The new entity will have significant control over advertising and gambling, as well as the licensing of businesses and the imposition of penalties and fines.


According to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, this bill’s approval by the cabinet is a major achievement. The Taoiseach emphasized that the bill’s publication is a critical milestone. It is a crucial and critical piece of legislation meant to deal with the difficulties of gambling responsibly in 21st century Ireland,” he said, that this was a long wait and other important pieces of legislation for a long time. This legislation provides a balanced approach to safeguarding individuals from addiction by protecting them from gambling. The framework for consumers and operators will be clearer as a result.


Ireland Established Its Licensing Regime 

There will be three types of licenses created for both remote and in-person gambling under the new system. B2C gaming, betting, and lottery licenses will be available, as well as B2B licenses and charity licenses.


According to Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan, reforming gambling legislation and regulation in Ireland is one of his key priorities. He states that he is pleased to have gotten the draft legislation to this point and looks forward to its publication and passage through the houses.


A gambling regulator will be established under the new law, with a focus on protecting people vulnerable to problem gambling and preventing harm to children, in addition to enforcing a strong, modern regulatory framework for the gambling industry. Browne warned that those who continue to provide illegal gambling services may be subject to criminal charges. He further said that any individual who provides gambling services without a license issued by the Authority or is operating in violation of the terms of his license may, be sentenced to as much as eight years in prison or fined to the extent permitted by the courts if found guilty.


Follow These New Rules 

Beginning next year, gambling will be promoted and advertised in accordance with new regulations set out in the bill. From 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., gambling advertising will be banned from being broadcast. Free bets and promotions will also be eliminated.


According to Browne, strict regulation of gambling advertisements will be a priority for the Authority. In addition to prohibiting advertisements that target children, the law will also prohibit advertisements that promote excessive or compulsive gambling,” he said, to answer the proliferation of gambling advertisements on social media, such advertisements will be prohibited by default in this digital era.”

“Safeguards are being proposed to lower the impacts of gambling. The National Gambling Exclusion Register will be established to prevent gambling-related harm. The Authority will be able to prohibit the provision of bonus offers and promotions as a result of this bill. The Social Impact Fund will be managed by the Authority, and it will be funded by the gambling industry. It will be used to fund programs to reduce problem gambling and support education and awareness-raising initiatives.”