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Pressure Increases to Introduce Gambling Legislation in Ireland

The Government in Ireland is being pressured from many sides to introduce new legislation for online gambling. Unaligned Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan last week added her voice regarding the need to regulate the industry.

Speaking at the last Dáil leaders questions debate, the Dublin Central TD said that the existing laws are outdated and do not ensure that all gaming venues are fully licensed. Ireland’s gambling legislation has been in place since 1931 and according to TD O’Sullivan, these do not adequately provide for modern gambling.

Besides for the issues of problem gambling and the fact that as much as €5 billion is being lost by punters every year in Ireland, she brought up money laundering and crime as incentives to update the legislation.

“The industry has licensed bookmakers and online betting licenses, but there are private members’ clubs and casinos, some regulated and some not, gaming arcades, some licensed and some not and gaming and amusement machines, some licensed and some not,” she stressed.

According to Ms O’Sullivan, the Financial Action Task Force which was established to combat money laundering and terrorist financing is currently evaluating Ireland and Ms O’Sullivan stated that “criticism is expected for our lack of appropriate legislation to prevent money laundering through the gambling industry.”

It has been three years since the process started with a general scheme published in July 2013 and pre-legislative scrutiny undertaken in November 2013.

“The Minister of State has been prioritising the legislation and “intends to move forward as quickly as possible with the appropriate legislation,” stated Tánaiste Francis Fitzgerald.

Ms O’Sullivan and others are continuing to push the government to move forward with the process and introduce new legislation in order to allow for safe gambling for individuals and the industry as a whole in Ireland.

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