Ireland Finally Passes Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act


It seems like Ireland is finally ready to take its online gambling sector to the next level. This news came as the country passed the ‘Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act’ which is the first indication that next year will probably the year that we see sweeping reforms in the country’s gambling law and regulations. The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) 2019, as it is officially referred to, came into effect at the beginning of the month on December 1 and it represents a key milestone in the growth and evolution of gambling in Ireland.

Perhaps the most important point to note here is that the development is vital to the long-awaited modernization of the current legislative landscape for the gambling industry. This can be traced back to as early as 1931 and 1956. Ireland is in dire need of updates to its codes and standards especially for the digital age and modern gambling audience. Thankfully, the new reforms are going to provide for this.

According to James Browne, the country’s Minister of State who has special responsibility for gambling regulation, the move could not have come at a better time since it steers Ireland’s gambling sector towards a “modern, sensible and effective licensing and regulatory” future.

“My Department is now engaged in the drafting of a general scheme of a new Bill to provide for that comprehensive reform… I was also pleased to secure ‘seed funding’ of €200,000 for the new regulator as part of the justice allocation in Budget 2021.” James Browne, Ireland’s Minister of State.

Its been a long time coming but it is great to finally see that Ireland is ready to join other countries that are trying to bring meaningful regulation to the gaming industry.

Dedication to Public Safety and Player Wellbeing

In addition to its focus on streamlining the application process for lottery and gambling permits, the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) 2019 will also be giving the way forward as far as application processing for small-scale gaming and lottery business. But it goes well beyond that.

The Act further reflects the government’s dedication to ensuring public safety and guaranteeing the wellbeing of all gamblers in the country. Case in point, the act sets a minimum age of 18 – no one below this age will be allowed to access any licensed gambling products.

All this will be handled by the soon-to-be-established gambling regulator. This regulator will not only be responsible for the regulation of gambling activities but will also be responsible for overseeing gambling advertising in Ireland.

It remains to be seen how exactly the government will establish the required regulatory bodies and appropriately allocate funds for various services including health and treatment. Still, with all the changes that are coming, it is safe to say that all those concerns will be handled in due course.

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