- Irish lawmakers to revise the Gambling Control Bill 2013 and Gaming and Lotteries Bill
- A new body to take regulatory functions from Department of Justice
- Bills should be introduced in their re-vised format within weeks
In 2019, Ireland will see important changes to its gambling laws, with two bills being given a priority. The Gambling Control Bill 2013 and the Gaming and Lotteries Bill will be revised and re-issued within weeks.
Ireland Looks into Gambling Legislation Up Close
Irish lawmakers are expected to look into two of the touch-stone gambling gambling laws in the country, applying updates to the Gambling Control Bill from July 2013 and the Gaming and Lotteries Bill. Both documents are being revised by ministers and other government officials in conjunction with industry experts.
According to David Stanton, from the Fine Gael party, lawmakers from the Inter-Departmental Work Group on Gambling, were preparing to release an official draft of the Gambling Control Bill within weeks. Once in the open, the draft will be voted on.
The patched Gambling Control Bill will seek to introduce changes that will bring Ireland’s gambling industry up to speed with counterparts across Europe. Some of the proposed changes across both documents include:
- Establishing a new independent regulatory authority to oversee the industry
- Overhauled rules for promoting regional lotteries
- Improving upon the process of obtaining a (lottery) license
- Looking into the maximum bets for gaming machines, such as FOBTs
The main priority of the Gambling Control Bill will reportedly be the establishment of a new regulatory body to help oversee the industry. Meanwhile, the Gaming and Lotteries Bill will look into aspects of the industry such as the proper issuing of a license and the establishment of customer-friendly promotional practices.
Another issue on the agenda seems to be the allowable maximum bet limits for various video game machines and the entire licensing process.
The Inter-Departmental Working Group on Gambling is determined to carry out some sweeping changes which is possible thanks to the broad support that it already commands, including endorsement from members of the Office of the Attorney General. According to the Work Group, the creation of a new regulatory body remains a top priority.
A new entity tasked with oversight of the industry will be able to assist the Department of Justice by completely taking the issue off its hands and streamlining the regulatory process. The regulator will look into a number of important aspects of the industry, including:
- Promoting gambling products
- Taxing the industry
- Looking into customer-protection practices & treatment
- Recommending penalties
One of the main reasons for creating an independent audit body has been the complexity of the industry which needs a separate entity fully-committed to monitoring it. Since January 1, 2019, Ireland’s new gambling tax went live, with operators now paying 2% of their turnover. This, however, remains a contentious point which may be revised in future.