Irish Gaming and Lotteries Law Amended Comes Into Force | Legal


The Irish government has announced that the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019 has entered into force, introducing a number of new measures for operators in the market.

Passed by Parliament in December last year, the law was designed to help streamline and modernize the permit and license application process, as well as better protect minors from gambling-related harm.

The government also said the amendment will ensure that more lottery proceeds go to charitable causes, and introduce new betting and prize limits for slot machines.

“This law modernizes the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act and will help better promote local gambling and lottery activities,” said Minister of State for Gaming Regulation James Browne.

“These activities, organized primarily for charitable and philanthropic purposes, are the cornerstone of our sports clubs and community organizations across the country.”

Key measures in the amendment include capping the maximum bet on gaming machines at € 5 (£ 4.51 / $ 6.07), while the top prize is now set at € 500.

Existing regulations, in place for 63 years, stipulated that the maximum bet on slot machines should be 3 cents, while the maximum payout was set at 50 cents.

During this time, no more than 75% of a bingo hall‘s total revenue can be allocated to prizes, with at least 25% being allocated for charitable or philanthropic purposes.

The law also sets a minimum age limit of 18 for all forms of gambling in Ireland, including betting on the Tote, which previously had no age limit for players.

In terms of the new license requirements, all existing permits will remain valid until their next renewal date, after which operators will have to reapply for a new license covering the updated measures.

“Gaming is an important and evolving industry. It needs to be the subject of a modern, sensible and efficient approach to licensing and regulation, ”said Browne.

“My department is now engaged in drafting a general outline for a new bill to provide for this comprehensive reform.”

Along with the new legal measures, the broader amendment will also see the launch of a new gambling regulator for Ireland.

It was hoped that the organization would be in place by the end of 2020, but this has been pushed back to 2021 at the earliest.

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