The Irish Times reports that new laws which are reportedly going to change the way the gambling and betting industry is regulated in Ireland are now a step closer to being completed. On Wednesday, the outlet that a long-touted regulator will be launched and that free bets will be banned, along with the VIP treatment of some gamblers.
The New Regulator is Likely To Hold a Lot of Power
After the Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act was passed, a new regulator that would oversee both the gambling and betting industries has been in the discussion. As for the Act itself, its main goal is to modernize the gambling legislation that dates to 1931 and 1956 in the country.
While addressing the Seanad Éireann, the Minister of State Justice, James Browne, outlined the scope and duties of this new regulator in July, which will supposedly hold a lot of power. As Browne stated, the regulator will have 100 employees and will hold the power of developing new regulations and codes of standards. Additionally, it will be able to issue non-compliance fines.
The Irish Times also reports that the new gambling regulator will be able to block payments to operators, free accounts of players, and revoke/suspend licenses.
Gambling Addiction Treatment Will Be Funded
These new laws on gambling in Ireland also include a social impact fund. By using a betting levy, fund gambling addiction treatment programs, as well as other initiatives concerning social responsibility and awareness on gambling harm, will be funded. Recently, Gambling with Lives launched a new youth education program that will address gambling harm and its consequences to the younger generations in the country.
Last, but not least, gambling advertising will be addressed as the new regulator will have the power to control both the timing and frequency of gambling ads across various media channels such as television, digital media, and radio.
According to Browne, banning advertising effectively will be a massive challenge since the schedule of domestic and international sports events, as well as horse racing, is heavy. However, Browne stated that the administrators in Ireland will be watching the UK Gambling Act review results, since this Act also has huge advertising scrutiny.
The President of Ireland Supports The Clampdown on Gambling Advertising
President Michael Higgins stated that he’s supportive of the idea of clamping down the market on gambling and betting advertising because he considers these activities dangerous. Additionally, he addressed the wider sports betting industry as a scourge.
The Irish Labour Party has also introduced its own legislation that bans any betting advertisements on television in the legislature of Ireland.