Fine Gael adamant on delivering Irish gambling overhaul in 2019

David Stanton, Ireland’s Minister of State for Equality & Integration, has outlined that 2019 will be the year of wholesale regulatory change for Irish gambling’s regulatory frameworks and governing structures, as Fine Gael is adamant on delivering its comprehensive new ‘Gambling Control Bill’.

Speaking to the Irish Times last week, Stanton detailed Fine Gael MPs frustrations at not being able to pass effective gambling reforms in 2018, as Ireland’s anticipated gambling overhaul nears a five-year delay.

At present, all Irish betting stakeholders await the publication of the Dáil policy review on the inbound 2% turnover tax (report expected Q1 2019) approved by Irish ministers last November.

The policy review was ordered by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, as a last-minute concession granted to the betting industry examining the increased tax charge’s impacts on betting shop closures and job losses.

Regardless of the outcome of the Dáil review, Stanton – the minister charged with overseeing Irish gambling directives – states that 2019 will finally see an overhaul of ‘arcane laws’, set by the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956 and the Betting Act of 1931.

The constant delays in revamping Ireland’s gambling regulatory framework has seen the sector limited in modern operational and digital policies, with a number of its incumbents setting self-regulating procedures.

Driving Irish gambling’s policy reform, Stanton underlines Fine Gael’s pledge to establish a newGambling Control Office’ tasked with monitoring advertising standards, marketing/promotions, underage gambling and social responsibility directives.