Ireland Looking At Big Changes To Gambling Laws
Ireland’s gambling laws are going to be subjected to a major overhaul and legislators will look to upgrade many of the outdated laws and make it relevant to the current market.
One of the big changes will be the establishment of a chief regulator that will employ more than a hundred people.
This is something that Ireland has planned to do for the last five years but hasn’t been able to push through due to multiple delays which has frustrated David Staunton, the Minister of State who is in charge of the gambling industry.
While Staunton admits to being frustrated he also points out that there was sufficient reason for the delay. There have been enormous changes in the gambling industry in the past five years and it was difficult to get a proper handle on the changes in the industry.
One of the major changes that needed attention was the rise of online betting, which has become a major component of the industry.
When the regulator’s office is started, it will be its responsibility to take a closer look at the moving parts of the gambling industry to see how best they can ensure that Irish citizens are protected. The chief regulator would also be in charge of dealing with problems like underage gambling and gambling addiction. There are also other concerns regarding advertising, sponsorship, promotions and online gambling regulation.
Amendments To Old Laws
Ireland’s gambling laws are very old. The multi-billion euro gambling industry of Ireland covers sports betting, online betting, and casino gambling. All of them are regulated by two main laws. These are the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956 and the Betting Act of 1931. Both of them are more than fifty years old and do not take into account several changes in the industry.
Staunton will look to focus his efforts to amend the laws concerning online gambling and address the 1956 Act, which mainly covers gaming machines and needs to be updated to include the online gaming market.
Besides the change to the 1956 Act, Staunton plans to draft a new Gambling Control Bill. He expects this to be properly published by 2019 and be ready for discussion. He hopes that by 2020, the bill will be ready to be enacted.
In a statement, Mr. Stanton said
With internet gambling you could lose your house overnight online. This is the area we need to regulate, as well as the advertising and glamorising of gambling.
In addition, Mr. Staunton wants to focus on how the gambling industry seems to be grooming young children via online games. He also wants to be a lot tougher on all activities that encourage children to gamble.