April 24, 2024 3 min read

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Ireland: Lawmakers Consider Exception for Ads by Gambling Charities

Legislators in the country are considering changes to the initially proposed blanket gambling advertising ban to exclude charitable organizations

Similarly to the overhaul of the gambling sector in Great Britain, lawmakers in Ireland are considering significant changes to the gambling regulations. The review of the 2022 Gambling Regulation Bill is expected to protect consumers, while establishing strict rules related to gambling advertising and inducements that licensed casinos and sports betting operators may offer.

Wednesday marks the final stop of the proposed legislation with Dáil Éireann, the country’s lower house, before the bill arrives at the Seanad for additional assessment. In light of this, lawmakers are currently debating changes related to the gambling regulation.

One of the changes, supported by James Browne, the Minister of State, involves the exclusion of certain organizations from the controversial gambling advertising blanket ban proposed as a part of the country’s new gambling laws. He proposes charities or other gambling organizations that advertise “for a charitable or philanthropic purpose” to be excluded from the advertising ban, as announced by The Irish Times.

The change from the initially proposed blanket ban came after lawmakers and representatives of the gambling and racing industry raised their concerns about the impact of such drastic restrictions. Moreover, broadcasters such as Racing TV for example, also sounded the alarm about the potential detrimental impact a blanket gambling advertising ban may have on the sector.

Earlier this month, the operator that offers bettors options for wagers on national lottery results, rather than engaging in the draws themselves, Lottoland, revealed its concerns, explaining that despite addressing a number of issues in a letter to the Minister, Browne is yet to sit down for a discussion with the company.

Irish Gambling Charities Continue Their Noble Work

GamblingCare, a service funded and administered by the independent charity that focuses on research, education and treatment for people affected by problem gambling in Ireland, the Gambling Awareness Trust, released a comprehensive report about its services provided throughout 2023 late last month.

In its report, GamblingCare revealed that last year, it provided 5,971 counseling sessions, recording a significant uptick considering the 4,230 figure recorded in 2022. During last year, the charity also recorded an exponential growth in the traffic for its website which increased from 14,000 in 2022 to nearly 103,000 in 2023.

Data about the spending on advertising and promotion of services by GamblingCare was not immediately available.

Still, if the lawmakers agree on the proposed changes, groups such as GamblingCare and Gamblers Anonymous Ireland, among other charitable organizations, may be exempt from the initially proposed blanket gambling advertising ban.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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