Ireland’s Strict New Gambling Rules Envision Heavy Penalties

James Browne, Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Justice, has unveiled new regulatory rules for the country’s gambling market. According to the Ministry, this much-needed change is needed to modernize the outdated local gambling laws.

The Responsibilities of the New Authority

Under the new legislation, Ireland will form its first-ever gambling regulator who will have the power to penalize gambling operators who break the local regulatory rules. Should they disobey the law, bookmakers risk a fine as high as $23 million or 10% of their turnover – whichever is higher. The fines will be collected by the Irish exchequer.

The regulator will be able to set rules for what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to gambling marketing and advertisements. It will have full power to regulate gambling’s media presence and set when gambling advertisements can appear on media. Additionally, with an aim to combat addictive gambling, Ireland will ban all kinds of tempting wagering practices and ads such as the offerings of free bets.

Furthermore, the authority will be authorized to void operators’ licenses and block them from providing their offerings in Ireland. It will also be possible to block or freeze payments and bank accounts. Under the new regulations, Ireland will make it impossible for bettors to play on credit or use their credit cards in gambling offerings.

The authority will be responsible for determining license length for operators and setting betting limits. It will be allowed to allocate a social impact fund into gambling research that forms statistics and helps for the prevention of harmful gambling practices.

The Government Seeks a CEO to Lead the Entity

The Irish government is currently working on the formation of the regulator. It has set a firm deadline that envisions the new entity beginning its operations before 2023.

Once running, the regulator will be responsible for making three-year strategic plans. It will be required to report to the government each year.

The regulatory body will be comprised of seven members who will be tasked with ensuring the integrity of the country’s betting industry. The authority’s chief executive will be chosen directly by the government and will have a term no longer than a maximum of four years.

Minister Browne spoke about the importance of finding a respectable and reliable CEO as soon as possible.

“The aim of putting a CEO designate in place is to help guide and establish the authority, so that when the legislation is passed both are in situ at the same time,” Browne explained. With a budget of $580,000, Browne’s goal is to find a CEO before the end of the year.

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