Sunday, May 19, 2024

Irish gambling legislation: disagreements emerge over charity draws

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Minister of state James Browne has rejected a proposed amendment to exempt charity draws.

Ireland.- Minister of state James Browne has rejected a proposal to exempt charity draws from rules under Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill (GRB). The dispute may hold up the passage of the bill.

The amendment was proposed by Labour deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. However, Browne criticised deputies for missing debates on this issue during the drafting of the bill and now proposing changes at the report stage, holding up the bill’s passage to the Seanad. He reminded deputies that amendments could only be made in the committee phase. He also argued that “excluding charities could remove important safeguards against the misuse of charitable status for gambling”.

The Gambling Regulation Bill was due to come into effect last year, but it has been held up in the Dáil since July due to disputes on criminal code reforms and horse racing funding. There is still no clear timeline for its enactment, which will lead to the creation of the Gambling Regulatory Authority under CEO designate Anne Marie Caulfield.

The horseracing sector remains concerned about the bill’s proposed ban on gambling advertising on radio and television between 5.30am and 9pm. Its call for an exception to be made for subscription horse racing channels has been rejected so far. Now, horse racing officials are proposing a give-and-take solution: a complete 24-hour ban on gambling adverts on TV but with subscription channels excluded.

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