Ireland gambling control bill to come into power in 2019?

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The Gambling Control Bill was announced back in 2013. It wasn’t passed to this day. Is this going to happen in 2019? Some legislators think it is, Calvin Ayre thinks not. Let’s find out the answer.

Gambling without control

Gambling in Ireland has been in the gray zone for many years now. The main gambling act that governs casinos and online casinos in Ireland says it’s illegal. However, you know full well that casinos in Ireland are more than plentiful.

How is this possible? The thing is there are many loopholes in the existing law that allow casinos to exist. Most of them exist in the form of private gambling clubs. However, to become a member of such a club you only need to have a valid ID and fill out a membership form.

So, gambling is prevalent in the country, and for the most part, it’s illegal.

The 2013 Bill

In 2013, a bill was introduced that tried to regulate the industry. Here’s what it proposed.

Only those casinos that are legally licensed would be able to promote their services both online and offline. This allows the regulators to control every advertiser and hold them accountable for their missteps.

The Gambling Control Bill also makes the protection of underaged gamblers a priority. It will prohibit gambling advertisers from working with teams, events, and media that are focused on the children. Protection of the underaged will be mandated by the law.

Gamblers will be prohibited from wagering on credit funds. This is a great step towards making the gambling industry a safer place for people who have problem gambling issues. They will have fewer loopholes to ruin their lives with.

All casino staff will be licensed and trained to perform their job with the interest of the player, not the casino in mind, as already did NetBet.

Occupational licenses

The last part is more than dividing for the Irish. The thing is there thousands of people in Ireland who work at gambling parlors and betting shops. It’s a job that requires little to no education and pays rather well.

When all these people will have to be licensed under the new law, it will constitute a problem. For the most part, gambling industry workers are not significantly more well off than your average Irish person, and they won’t have the money to get a license. This may cause protests.

Unclear taxation

Right now, the remote gambling industry has to pay a 1% turnover tax and a 23% VAT on paid revenue. What will change after the bill is passed? It’s unclear.

Then there’s the problem of gambling taxes going to horse breeding industry. There’s nothing to be said on that by the bill.

The report that wasn’t made

As Ayre points out, there was no motion with the bill as of today. The Department of Justice ordered a report to be produced to facilitate with understanding the problems Ireland faces with gambling.

It had to be an inquiry into problem gambling and a consultation with the leaders of the industry. The report would have been very beneficial for understanding how well does the Gambling Control Bill tackle problems at hand.

Sadly, it wasn’t produced to this day, and it’s been four years now.

The UK example

A very similar regulation was passed in the UK recently. They even launched a team of online investigators that busted gambling advertisers who advertised to children.

Now that Ireland’s neighbor has an example the legislators can adopt, doing this is only a matter of time. If the Seanad doesn’t take a closer look at how the UK regulation is performing, it would be a shame.