Ireland has one of the strongest online gambling markets in the world. This industry was made completely legal in 2013, yet regulation over iGaming sites operating here has been tough. In response, a new gambling regulator in Ireland is being established.
Approval is pending on the new Gaming Authority here. It’s clear that Ireland wants better oversight on their online gambling industry. Will this be a good thing for gambling fans in the country?
Gambling has taken place in Ireland for centuries. In 1956, the government here created the Gaming and Lotteries Act to oversee the land-based gaming activities in the country. This set of laws allowed the government to tax and regulate the different casinos and sportsbooks operating.
Irish lawmakers didn’t take any concrete steps to regulate the online gambling industry until 2013. The Gaming Control Bill of 2013 made internet gambling legal with oversight from the Minister and Office for Gambling Control.
Online gambling companies can apply for a license to legally operate inside Ireland. Today, nearly all of the best iGaming websites in the world are available inside Ireland. Unfortunately, the Irish government is struggling to effectively regulate this market.
As a result, officials are preparing for the creation of a new gambling regulator in Ireland. This group will provide much better oversight of both land-based and online gambling operations in the country. So what exactly has pushed the Irish government to create a new Gaming Authority?
As we mentioned before, Ireland has one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. It should come as no surprise that this nation also has one of the highest gambling addiction rates in the world. According to some reports, there are over 40,000 people in Ireland with a legitimate gambling problem. Some feel that number is even higher.
Another study by The Irish Times reports that one in ten children in Ireland gamble illegally on a regular basis. The government is finally taking notice of these issues. A gambling regulatory group is being established, whose task will be to tackle the issue of problem gambling and age restriction enforcement.
That’s not the only thing this group will focus on. The new gambling regulator in Ireland will be the group responsible for granting licenses to online gambling sites in the country. It will also impose fines and suspend or revoke gaming licenses.
Ireland’s Minister of State, David Stanton, commented on the decision to create this regulatory body by stating:
“As the gambling industry changes, and indeed as the demographics and motivations of its customers change, so must the State’s licensing and regulatory approach.”
The big question now is, will this be a good thing for gamblers in Ireland?
Many different European nations are beginning to increase regulations over the online gambling industry. Sweden, for instance, has implemented a number of new restrictions on gambling advertisements in the country. Increased regulation doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing for gamblers, yet some countries seem to be taking things too far.
The UK is another country that’s introducing a huge number of new restrictions on the iGaming industry. Lawmakers here are even considering a ban on credit cards for gambling. It’s not clear what new laws the new gambling authority will begin implementing.
Along with the new gambling regulator in Ireland, lawmakers are also set to introduce a new bill to “establish future laws” on the internet gambling industry.
Gamblers in Ireland don’t need to worry. The establishment of this regulatory body will be working to better protect the industry. There are no plans to add any restrictions on the industry.
Do you think this will help Ireland’s online gambling industry? Let us know in the comment section below!
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