Ireland is one step closer towards the Gambling Bill
The gambling laws in Ireland
Ireland is one of the most gambling nations, yet it has poorly defined laws. The law that regulates gambling now is over 60 years old. Many Irish people believe it needs updating to make it work in 2019. There are sure a lot of gambling problems that a new bill could address.
The problems with gambling in Ireland
Overregulation is never a good way to solve problems, but the regulations that are in place in Ireland, don’t seem like working. The thing is, to be able to gamble, you have to at least 18 years of age. It’s written in the law, but it’s ineffective as of today.
Despite the legislation, one in ten teens in Ireland gambles illegally. This is a problem because many teenagers don’t have a source of money of their own, and can resort to stealing from their parents once the allowance is lost. Besides, kids have a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction.
With over 40,000 problem gamblers in Ireland, many of them may be underaged. The sheer number of gambling addicts in the country is a problem in and of itself. The Economist has shown Ireland is one of the biggest losers in the world when it comes to gambling.
Gambling losses per adult are as high as €450 a year. That makes Ireland, a nation without many tourist casinos, a bigger loser than the US that has Las Vegas. The only two nations that lose more than the Irish are Australians and Singaporeans.
But problems come from the business side, as well as from the consumer side. The new 2% turnover tax on the industry may spell closure from many rural betting shops.
The UK example
Our neighbours, the UK, seem to have it all figured out in terms of gambling. They have decent legislation in place that governs the gambling industry fairly and provides safety for the customers.
The most important thing about the UK gambling regulation is that their governing bodies are proactive. UKGC is always on the lookout for bad actors and can prevent problems before they happen.
For instance, since the strict ban on gambling ads that, willingly or not, target minors, the Commission has conducted multiple checks on different websites, like Mr.Green casino. They have detected some violations of their guidelines and notified the advertiser. The gambling company took down the ads before they could cause any harm.
The Gaming and Lotteries Bill 2019
The bill that is going to change things for the better for Ireland is now past the Committee stage and is being considered in Dáil Éireann. The legislators say it was a tough bill to amend in the Committee, and it took three months to go through Seanad Éireann. Now, it’s going to proceed much faster.