Monday, July 22, 2024

How Gambling Regulation In Ireland Is Changing

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Here In Ireland, gambling has long been a pastime for many. While the industry has been growing for years now, you gambling regulations are due to come in and make some real changes. How will this affect the industry at large, as well as those who enjoy taking part in the odd bet? Let’s take a closer look at these regulation changes and what they mean for you.

The Current State Of Irish Gambling

Gambling has been a pastime in Ireland for centuries now, having originated with horse racing betting which is still a tradition. Up until now, the industry at large has been self-regulated. However, there have been real changes in the industry that have led the government to look at making regulation changes.

These changes have come thanks to the massive rise of online gambling. Both the popular Irish bookmakers and casino sites have exploded in popularity, especially since 2020 and the COVID lockdowns that stopped many physical locations from running. Right now, it is estimated that the gambling industry is worth a massive 8 billion EUR per year.

As they have become so wildly popular, the government argued that regulation needs to be changed to protect gamblers and ensure that everybody can enjoy their offerings safely.

The Gambling Regulation Bill

So what exactly is the Gambling Regulation Bill? It is a proposal to the government, outlining different methods for protecting consumers, problem gamblers, and children. These measures are needed, as argued by those putting the bill forward, because gambling has become more accessible than ever before thanks to online platforms.

It also looks to define what gambling is exactly, no matter where a consumer is taking part. Essentially, anything that involves a stake with a possibility of loss or gain will be included in this Bill.

As part of this bill, the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland has been set up. This group will be looking to regulate the industry, by licensing every company or body that offers gambling products. This will be done for both physical and online gambling services.

As well as licensing gambling companies, the group will be creating rules on advertising, promotion, and any other marketing of gambling products. With these rules in place, they aim to protect those who may be affected by problem gambling.

Licensing Companies Outside Of Ireland

For anyone who is familiar with online gambling companies, you will know that a lot of them will not actually be based in Ireland. If this is the case, how can Irish gambling regulations affect them?

In the bill, it is notice that if any gambling provider is having an impact on island or Irish people, or breaching the laws that are in place, then the Irish Internet Service Provider will be compelled to block the site for the whole country. Because of this, the reach of this potential new bill will be far and wide.

Potential Improvements To Gambling Provision In Ireland

While some may be concerned about the new restrictions coming for gambling products, others will be arguing that they are actually going to improve the industry overall. Until now, gambling services in Ireland have been self-regulated for the most part. While most will regulate themselves to protect both themselves and their members, there are of course other companies who are essentially the wild west of gambling.

If an Irish gambling service has not been properly self-regulating, it leads to a lot of potential problems. For example, if an online casino is not checking for ID when signing up new members, it is very easy for children to get on board and potentially run into problems. Also, if anyone is starting to experience problem gambling, the behaviour is not picked up and that member is not helped with their issues with gambling.

Because of this, the regulations that are being proposed will stop these issues from coming up, and protect those who need protecting.

Restrictions Being Proposed For Irish Gambling Companies

So, what kind of restrictions could be coming your way? A lot of them will be aimed at advertising, to avoid gambling products being advertised to children and others who may not want to be taking part in gambling. In the bill, it proposes that social media advertising for gambling products will be prohibited completely. That should also be an opt-in service for those who want to see adverts for gambling products.

For online services, there will be restrictions on the provision on free bets, VIP treatments and more. Of course this will affect those who enjoy online gambling, but the government argue that it is for the best to protect those who need protecting.

Right now, these regulations are proposed in the bill but not yet enforced in law. Currently, only time will tell whether these actually become law.

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Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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