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Irish Republican Party to Propose a New Gambling Bill

- November 8, 2017 By Oliver Young -

They suggest tougher controls on money-laundering claims.

The main opposition party with a proposal for a national gambling control body.

Ireland passed its Gambling Act in 2015, replacing the previous law that was the country’s legislative frame for more than 80 years. It was obvious that changes were necessary as gambling today sure differs from gambling in the period before the WWII.

According to the law, online casino operators are supposed to pay a 1% tax on their gross revenue, whereas online sports betting providers will have to pay a 15% tax, but only on their net revenue. Under the current legal scheme, many operators obtained licences which enabled them to offer their services on the Irish gambling market. Few months after the law was passed, 27 operators received their online gambling licences.

Now, politicians in Ireland feel that it is time to form a national body that will be in charge of gambling and will have the authority to regulate casino advertising and tackle money-laundering that allegedly goes through online casinos.

The Bill Will Tackle Problem Gambling

Fianna Fáil, the Irish Republican Party which is currently the largest opposition party in Ireland has already drafted a proposal for the new national gambling body that is supposed to control gambling in the country. The proposal might be put forward in the Irish Parliament by Christmas this year, Irish sources claim.

Sources from the party claim that they are worried about a number of issues that have to with online gambling and which haven’t been properly addressed. It was suggested that a proposal to restrict gambling advertising via the internet and mobile apps is also considered and the gambling control body would be funded via a levy that is yet to be set.

The party also advocates for clearer provisions regarding players’ rights to be self-excluded from an online casino and stricter provisions on money laundering and its prevention.

A spokesperson for the party told the Irish press that they feel the need for legislative changes due to the fact that problem gambling has grown in the country and the current and the previous Government haven’t done enough.

Operators Want Changes too

The Republican Party publicly stated that representatives of the gambling industry have lobbied against the proposed legal solution, but they don’t intend on backing down. According to a research made by Gambling Aware, the number of Irish citizens who have a problem amounts to 40,000. Moreover, the Irish spend more than €5 billion on gambling per year.

Sources from the party say that they will be reluctant to wait, as the Gambling Control Bill was principally approved in 2013, but very little has been done since and that’s why they suggest that things should go faster now.

The Republican Party isn’t the only organisation that suggest legal changes, even the Association of Gaming and Leisure and the national Bookmakers Association feel that some of the laws are dated and that the country needs to change its laws if it wants new investments in the industry.

A member of the Government said that there is progress on the bill on gambling control, adding that the Government is mulling a proposal which includes the establishment of some sort of a shadow regulator, a claim that was rendered controversial.

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