Irish gaming bill advances to the next stage

Ireland’s temporary legislation for the betting and gaming industry, the Gaming and Lotteries Bill 2019, has been given the green light to advance to the committee stage in the Dáil Éireann.

The legislation seeks to enforce an age restriction of 18 years old on all betting and gaming products across Ireland, as well as limit gaming machine stakes and prizes at €10 and €750 respectively.

The bill has undergone a second reading in the Dáil earlier this week, with TD’s submitting a motion to pass the legislation onto the country’s Select Committee on Justice and Equality proposed and accepted.

With the hope of developing an enhanced licensing system for the country’s lottery, the legislation has already received the go ahead from the Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas).

“We believe there is a need for much more thorough control and regulation of gambling,” Fianna Fáil Deputy Jim O’Callaghan said. “Regrettably, the legislation before us deals only with very small aspects of the issues concerning gambling that are problematic in this country.”

As discussed by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe earlier this week, the Gambling Control Bill is currently facing scrutiny from policy makers, although it is not expected to face the Oireachtas before 2020 according to Minister of State, David Stanton.   

“One of the things I have discovered even during the course of this bill is that it is extremely complex to draft,” Stanton said. “It takes a long time. I was involved in the pre-legislative scrutiny phase through a committee at that time. Since then, things have changed again.”

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