It has been a long time coming, but Ireland’s far-reaching new Gambling Control legislation is expected to be published later in 2019. The aim is for it to progress through the Oireachtas, with the goal of becoming enacted into law by 2020.
At the end of 2018, Minister of State David Stanton had said that the reforms will include what he described as a “big beast” regulator.
The regulator is expected to employ around 100 people and will be able to enforce operators – both those based in Ireland as well as foreign operators which operate within the Irish market – to be compliant with legislation.
The regulator will also have powers to deal with gambling addiction, advertising, underage gambling, virtual betting, and money laundering.
Ireland’s old-fashioned gambling laws
It seems ludicrous to say so, but Ireland’s multi-billion-euro gambling industry is currently still governed principally by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and the Betting Act of 1931. Yes, two pieces of legislation that are 65 and 88 years old, respectively.
The government has admitted that these two pieces of legislation are hideously out of date, but progress on enacting new laws has been very slow.
Updated regulations were meant to be put into place five years ago. However, Mr Stanton said that the delay could actually be beneficial.
In an interview with the Irish Times, Mr Stanton stated that Ireland may now be in a better position to regulate online betting industry, as the laws will reflect the new world of online gambling, with many operators based out of Ireland.
A better environment for players and businesses
Online gambling services in Ireland started being regulated in 2015 with the Gambling (Amendment) Act.
The Act forced operators to obtain a license to target the country’s citizens, but finding a way to work around the rules was a piece of cake for many gaming operators.
However, the new and more authoritative legislation which is currently in the pipeline will have the ‘teeth’ to not only benefit players in Ireland and be able to offer them better protection, but crack down on unethical gaming companies.
On the other hand, gaming companies that have taken the time and trouble to obtain a license to operate in Ireland will find themselves at an advantage.
Companies such as Mansion Group, which acquired their Irish licence this month will be able to grow their market share much more easily in the vibrant Irish gambling market.
In the same vein, the new legislation will also benefit other trustworthy and licensed casino operators which have long held an Irish gaming license, including Aspire, EveryMatrix, and LeoVegas, which place a priority on gambling safety, fairness and satisfaction.