Laws and Features of Gambling Business in Ireland

Author: Live Casino Direct
 
Laws and Features of Gambling Business in Ireland
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Northern Ireland operates under a single law that dates back to before the 1990s. Some online casino Ireland operators are taking advantage of this regulatory flexibility.

Nelson McCausland, an ex-minister, opposed the legalization of gambling a few years ago. First Minister Arlene Foster and her deputy, Michelle O'Neill, hold more pro-business positions in the industry. A recent poll conducted by CARE NI revealed that a reform of the law is continuing to be widely supported. 60% of public wants a mandatory levy on gambling companies and 90% agree that online stakes and prizes should be regulated. Exciting times are on the horizon for Northern Irish punters and bookies alike.

Gambling is regulated by Irish law. A bookmaker accepts bets, sets odds and pays out winnings. Lotteries are a contest for money or money’s worth.   The stake can be any payment for the right to participate or any other payment required.

There are various laws and regulations that govern bookmakers, bookmaker premises, and wagering since the 18th century. The state regulates prize bonds and the national lottery introduced in 1987. Private members' clubs started offering limited gaming facilities in the early 2000s.

The Betting Act 2015 regulates online bookmakers and gambling intermediaries for the first time. Online bookies accepting bets from customers living in Ireland are subject to licensing requirements. Pari-mutuel is governed most notably by the Totalisator Act 1929 and the Irish Tote currently functions as a monopoly under state control.

The Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 was amended by the Gaming & Lottery Act 2019. The 2019 Act became effective on 1 December 2020. It unified gaming into licensing regimes and standardized the licensing and permit regime for lotterie. Private lotters were removed from the Act. There are new exemptions for charitable/philanthropic lottery and for marketing agencies conducting prize draws.

Online gambling is legal under the Gaming and Lotteries Act, but the legislation was not intended for online activities. Online gambling should be fully regulated and taxed once the new legislation is passed. An Irish government tender process was held in 2013 to award a new 20-year licence to operate the National Lottery. A consortium led by Camelot won the process. On February 14, 2014, the agreement was signed. The NationalLottery Act 2013 was enacted.

The gaming industry is large and constantly changing. An effective, modern and sensible licensing and regulatory approach is necessary. Irish gambling laws were changed in 2019 following the recommendation of a working group set up to examine previous legislation. Reforms were proposed three years ago.

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Thursday 17 November 2022 - 9:02 am


A number of gambling reform measures are slated for implementation in Ireland as the government has approved a new Gambling Regulation Bill.

The...