The Act includes a number of temporary measures before more extensive regulations are implemented for 2021
According to an announcement issued by the Minister of State with special responsibility for gambling regulation, James Browne, the Irish gambling market is set for extensive regulatory reform and, therefore, the new interim Gaming and Lotteries Act is set to be implemented in a bid to rejuvenate land-based gambling and its promotion.
The amended 2019 Act will look to modernise the application process for lottery and gambling permits while also protecting potential underage gamblers with the minimum age set at 18 years of age. Furthermore, small gaming companies will also benefit from the efficient application process.
Minister of State with special responsibility for gambling regulation, Browne, welcomes the new amendment by stating that:
“This Act modernises the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and will help the better promotion of local gaming and lottery activity. These activities, held primarily for charitable and philanthropic purposes, are the lifeblood of our sporting clubs and community organisations across the country."
Therefore, to summarise the points of the 2019 amended Act, the following are the new measures:
- Streamline and modernise the application process for gaming permits and lottery permits and licences for smaller scale, local gaming and lottery activity.
- Protect underage people by standardising the minimum age for all licensed gambling at 18 years of age, including for betting on the Tote.
- Ensure more proceeds from lotteries goes to charitable causes.
- Update the stake and prize limits for licensed gaming machines, with a provision for the Minister to amend the amounts by regulation.
- Serve an important public interest in assisting the better promotion of gaming and lotteries and enhance consumer protection.
Minister Browne further added that, “gambling is a large and evolving industry,”
“It must be the subject of a modern, sensible and effective licensing and regulatory approach. My department is now engaged in the drafting of a general scheme of a new bill to provide for that comprehensive reform.”
These measures will be temporary until Ireland decide to implement more extensive regulations, which are expected to come into force in 2021.