Details of Irish gaming regulations emerge

Ireland is due to launch a new gambling regulator.
Ireland is due to launch a new gambling regulator.

New regulations being drawn up include restrictions on free bets and ‘VIP treatments’.

Ireland.- It appears that new gambling regulations are finally coming closer in Ireland, with the Irish Times reporting on details that include a ban on free bets and ‘VIP treatment’ for some players.

The newspaper also says that a long-awaited new regulatory body is also close to coming to fruition. In July, minister of state for justice James Browne had promised an “extremely powerful” new regulator.

Since then, progress has remained slow with opposition politicians and even president Michael Higgins calling for an urgent overhaul of gaming regulations.

According to the latest details, the new regulator will be able to revoke or suspend gambling licences, freeze player accounts and block payments to operators.

The regulator will also oversee a social impact fund that will pay for addiction treatment via a levy on betting operators. It will also be able to issue codes governing the timing and frequency of gambling advertising on television, radio and digital media channels – something that has been criticised by politicians including Higgins.

Browne has previously said that the regulator would have 100 staff, would develop codes of standards and regulations and would be able to impose fines.

He has since remarked that Ireland will look closely at the outcome of the UK’s ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act review, which is also expected to take a strong stance on advertising.

See also: Irish bookmakers agree whistle-to-whistle advertising ban

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