Ireland’s interim gaming and lotteries act comes into force

By Peter Lynch

Ireland’s new interim Gaming and Lotteries Act has come into force ahead of widespread regulatory reform of the Irish gambling market.

The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019 (2019 Act) came into effect on 1 December, and aims to modernise the promotion of land-based gambling.

Amending the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956-2013, the 2019 Act will seek to streamline the application process for lottery and gambling permits, as well as the application process for smaller-scale gaming and lottery activity.

The act will also protect underage people by standardising the minimum age for all licensed gambling at 18 years of age.

Further aims include enhancing consumer protection, increasing proceeds from lotteries to charitable causes, and updating the stake and prize limits for gaming machines.

The penalties for contravention of the 2019 Act have also been increased.

The current regulations are, however, temporary measures ahead of a more comprehensive overhaul of gambling legislation in the country.

Permanent changes are expected to come into force in 2021.

“Gambling is a large and evolving industry,” said Minister of State with special responsibility for gambling regulation, James Browne, T.D.

“It must be the subject of a modern, sensible and effective licensing and regulatory approach. My department is now engaged in the drafting of a general scheme of a new bill to provide for that comprehensive reform.”

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