The Irish government has introduced a swathe of gambling industry reforms through the approval of the Gambling Regulation Bill.
Under the new laws, gambling advertisements will be banned between 5.30 a.m and 9 p.m, with adverts aimed at children and problem gamblers prohibited.
Additionally, the use of credit cards in retail gambling locations also will be prohibited, while the placement of ATMs in these establishments will be controlled.
About Gambling Regulation Bill
The Bill provides for a modern and streamlined approach to gambling licensing activities which will replace the currently fragmented regime. Three types of licences for both in-person and online or remote betting will be introduced:
- Business to Consumer Gaming, Betting and Lottery Licences;
- Business to Business Licences;
- Gambling licences for Charitable/Philanthropic Causes.
Companies operating without a license could face heavy penalties, including prison sentences of up to eight years.
There is a pathway mapped for the legislation progressing which will facilitate the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland being established and operational in 2023.
Also finances will be set aside for a Social Impact Fund, designed to research and support the treatment of those harmed by problem gambling.
Welcoming today’s Government decision, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “This approval by Cabinet is significant and the publication of the Bill is unquestionably a major milestone. It is an important and necessary piece of legislation, designed to meet the challenges of gambling responsibly in 21st century Ireland. This long awaited and much needed Bill takes a responsible approach to balancing the freedom to gamble with the safeguards to protect people from falling prey to addiction. This Gambling Regulation Bill provides a clearer framework for operators and for consumers.”
The Irish Bookmakers Association was said to have welcomed the new Gambling Regulation Bill, hoping that it will herald a new dawn of Irish gambling industry regulation.